My Mommy

My favorite Stargazer lilies. A perfect Mother's Day flower!

Mother's Day can be bittersweet for many.  For my sister and me, this is the case.  Our mom has alzheimer"s disease and is living in a care facility.  Since she is in another state, I only see her a few times a year.  I don't like going to the place where she lives.  Don't get me wrong.  They take very good care of her.  It just all feels very alien to me when I visit.  I know, I need to put on my big-girl panties and get over that.  I'm just saying that it is hard for me to visit her there. 

Mom is in her 80's and is like a shadow of the mommy that we knew.  She knows who I am. She knows that she loves me. She still plays the piano in her residential home, but with alzheimer's, one doesn't really know how long things will last.  Our mom is a musician.  My aunt taught her how to play the piano when she was young, and she pursued music through singing and playing the piano growing up,  attending The University of Oregon music school. and teaching music.  She played the organ and directed the choir at our church.  She taught piano privately and music in the public schools.

 Mom has a beautiful soprano voice.  Our childhood was filled with music lessons, singing in the church choir, running around the dark sanctuary on the weekends while mom was practicing the organ, having her accompany my sister and me on the piano while we sang, and played the flute and the violin, and singing together.  We sang hymns,  songs from her childhood, songs from musicals, especially "The Sound of Music," and popular songs from the 60's like ALL the Beatle's songs.  Most of my Christmas and Easter memories include singing in church next to mom.  She taught me how to sing harmony to anything; not by telling me, but by singing in the car on the way to the beach, or the grocery store, or anywhere. 

So, the last time I visited her, we took a walk and did a little singing.  She was so sweet and delighted.  We sang together, outside as we walked around, and I recorded us.  It was the best time I have had with her in a long time.  I was so happy to see, to hear, to validate that one of the parts, an important part, of our mommy was and is still there.  In the video clip below you will hear that ironically, she is singing the true words to a song and that I'm not!  The song goes, "Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree..." and I sing, "Kookaburra sits in the old oak tree..."  You will also notice that most of the video is a blur because I was holding my phone up to make sure the sound was being recorded.  You can see my mom's sweet hand, however.

Happy Mother's Day.  I hope that you get to enjoy the weekend with a song and love in your heart. 







Mom and Me

I was holding my phone so that our conversation would be recorded - that's why all you see is a blur... except for my mom's hand.