Friday, November 23, 2007

Maven vs. the PC

My father's PC apparently has something against Mama Maven, blogger or both. I tried to post, I really did. It granted me a few precious moments on Thanksgiving Day but other than that it was a waiting game and finally total rejection!

It was an interesting trip home, we haven't been to Ohio on Thanksgiving in at least two years. There is so much traffic and we'll be going back in a month for Christmas so that past two years we've stayed in Maryland and had a more laid back version of the holiday with friends. This year it was 25-ish family members in my folks house (which is kind of like packing all those people in a VW bug to set a record--crowded, very crowded)! My mother, who is short on the positive feedback looked at me at some point and said, "I forgot how nice it is to have you home to help cook." From my mother that is high praise. She only does things by the recipe, I am more my father's cook and just throw things together, usually with good results. She gave me a recipe to make dressing and then got a bit huffy when I made fun of her--"come on, you've been doing it for 30 years, you need a recipe?" The meal went off without a hitch.

Last year my grandmother had Thanksgiving and then two days later (like a year ago today) she road in the Christmas parade and somewhere along the way had a stroke and passed out at the end. Those few moments changed her life. She drove herself to the parade to ride with the red-hat ladies, throw candy and wave. She lived alone, she was quite self sufficient and she and her sister took trips and hung out at the senior center. This year she is living in a nursing home, wheelchair bound, without the use of her left side, a bit confused and depressed. She looked much better than the last time I saw her when she arrived for dinner with just done hair and a lovely manicure. She carried on conversation and was a bit more herself. By the end of the day she looked tired and fragile--every time I see her it breaks my heart a little. I know I should be happy that for the most part she is with us mentally and able to get out and join us for the holiday. Its so hard to accept that those few minutes changed her life so dramatically though. My Dad and his brothers are facing the decision about selling her house, she has lived in that house for 57 years. Its tiny and holds a lifetime of family memories--packing those relatives into her house is more like putting us in a sardine can than a roomy bug, sitting around the big table in the living room, sharing a single bathroom, growing up from the kitchen to the big people table. There were moments where it was easier to say why her than to be thankful.

I am thankful that Grandma is with us and that we still see glimmers of the "real" person.

1 comment:

Builder Mama said...

Aww, that just breaks my heart. Like my dad's illness last year, it's hard to see someone who is so full of life knocked down a few notches by something so unexpected. He's doing better, but it's still tough to see that he can't do all he used to do.

You are cracking me up about cooking with your mom. I swear my mom made my sister cry at least a dozen times this week about cooking since it has to be done "properly" (a.k.a. her way). It's times like that when you have to laugh at them!