Friday, January 25, 2013

"You Can't Go Home Again"...Or Can You?

As I pull into the parking space at the nursing home, my mind races ahead to visualize just where I will find my mother. Stopping by to find mother in her designated room, is not realistic. She will either be traveling up and down the halls, sitting in on somebody's conversation, or parked in someone else's room. Today, I head down the hall and just as I round the corner, see her turning right to head up another hall. This event reminds me of the old "Pac Man" game, as to where the little men race around the screen, turning corners as fast as they can before being devoured. I finally reach mother and see that she is rolling beside a very tall gentleman who is unfamiliar to me. I take hold of the back of mother's wheelchair, the man looks at me and says..."do we know you?" I reply, "this is my mother." I am perplexed whether mother's new found friend is a resident or just someone visiting there as he is wearing a nice white shirt and slacks. He looks at me again and asks, "do you know me, I need to get on home?" The mystery has been solved, he is a resident indeed. Mother hears our conversation and being that I am behind her, inquires, "is that you Jean?" I tell her that it is and that I am taking her to the front room for a visit. She becomes adamant about the gentleman coming with us, so I agree. I park mother just beside me as the man remains standing in the middle of the room. Mother ignores my boring comments of "whatcha' been doin'?" and "it's really cold out there!" instead, she is watching every move her new found friend is making and calls to him to come over. He states that he needs a coat if he's going to try to walk home in this weather. Mother replies to his words by saying that she has been needing to go home too and see her daddy, but Jean won't take me! In more than one of my blogs, I have told you of mother's different homes, some real and some imaginary. I have a need to know just which home she is referring to, so I ask her to take me there in her mind. She laughs and gives the look as if she's remembering and has arrived there. We begin our journey. "What does it look like mother?" I ask. "Well, you know there's a whole bunch of mailboxes up there and the cemetery's just to the left," she says. I now know, that she is at her childhood home on Skyuka road. She directs me down the drive and to the front of the old Williams' two story white farmhouse which has been demolished for many years now. "OK, we're stepping up onto the front porch, what do you see?" I say. "Well, right there's the swing and some chairs. Let's go in," she smiles. "Tell me what it looks like in here," I say. "Just go on back through to the kitchen, but turn there to the right and you can go into Daddy and Normar's bedroom, right there on the left is the stairs to mine and Ralph's room," she remembers. As a child, my sister and I would visit many times in this old house. Grandpa John died when I was 9 months old and of course grandmother Hannah died when mother was three. As I've told before, the only mother our mother ever knew was her stepmother, Norma Williams, who was very good to her and raised mother as her own. A favorite object for me and my sister, was a musical, dancing ballerina jewelry box, which set on a small vanity belonging to our Grandma Normar, containing a play gold ring adorned with 3 tiny orange carrots on the front supposedly signifying how many "Karats" it was worth. Sister Sue and I would slip and try it on every time we visited. Upstairs was a tiny white box, hidden out of sight that only snooping grandchildren could find. It belonged to my Grandpa and inside, held a fake pile of "poop" just so little girls could giggle by seeing it. As to how he acquired this prize, I have never known. I often wonder of it's whereabouts to this very day. Our "sentimental journey" is suddenly interrupted by the gentleman telling us that he's going to walk on down town! Mother seems annoyed as to the abruptness of the departure from her childhood home, but tells him to "put his coat on,it's cold out there!" It's getting late and I must go to "my home." I guess when Thomas Wolfe wrote that "You Can't Go Home Again" he wasn't talking about my mother!