Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Let's Play Cards"

"I feel like a dead woman...
Let's play some cards, I'm getting tired of sitting around.

Let's do something it'll keep me busy.

I'm dying in this place.

Okay, deal those cards already. I can't shuffle with these hands."

We start playing cards. All is fine & forgotten - for now.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

"I Feel Blue Today"

As we entered Mama's room the other night she was singing to herself in a low voice, which was unusual for her. So I asked her...

Vin: Okay, what's the matter?

Anna: I feel blue today...

Vin: Well you don't sound blue. You're singing!

Anna:sing so I don't feel blue.

Vin: Well that's good, then keep on singing. And besides you don't look blue, you're wearing purple.

She laughs, takes a look out the window & sings "Blue Skies" full out. Her mood has changed... thanks again to the power of music & taking the time to care.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day with "Anna with a Z"

I remember when I was growing up, Mama was a mother to everyone! All of my friends loved my mother, they always wanted to visit & hang out at our apartment. 

Mama was always a second mother to many... starting with her nieces, my half brother, my cousins & even some of my friends. Everyone loved Anna! She often took the place of their absent parents. 

As time moved on & things have changed, the tables have now turned. She feels lonely, isolated & forgotten. She often says "where are they all now?" I try to smooth it over & explain that people have their own lives & most aren't nearby anymore. Sometimes she says "the hell with them", other times she recalls stories of her glory days with "her children". She would take some of them to Radio City Music Hall to see the Easter Show or the Christmas Show & even Frank Sinatra at The Paramount.

I have stopped making excuses for many & just try to be in the present moment with Mama. Aware that this could be our last "memory" of a Mother's Day together.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

All We Have is Love & Memories

It happens to me more & more on a daily basis. I remember the past & think of it like it was yesterday. I can't believe how much time has passed since certain events have happened in my life. It seems like just a few years ago that I was a frantic fat five year old child singing along to Judy Garland records, a few months ago that I was graduating high school & a few weeks ago that I was moving into my first apartment. 

Then I think of today & I put myself into my mother's place & I try to think, what does she really remember? What is her time frame? I ask her questions just to check in with her & to see which of her stories are consistent. Which stories are true, which ones is she making up? Does she even know the difference? But all in all, does it really matter? 

All we really have in life is love & memories... sometimes it's just love, sometimes it's just memories. I am lucky enough to have both right now. But I know my mother is fortunate enough to have love & lucky enough to be able to make up the rest from her bits & pieces of her memories.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

"I Have Some Money"

During my visit with Mama the other night, we were cleaning out her bag. We do this often as she likes to wrap & save food that she doesn't finish at meal time. She pulled out her leopard change purse, took out a dollar bill, looked at it, then put it back in the purse. We started to talk about money.

Vin: Why haven't you ever saved any money?

Anna: Oh, your damn father was a gambler.

Vin: Well, why didn't you try to save some money separately?

Anna: Oh,I have some money!

Vin: You do?

Anna: Sure, I have a couple of hundred in the bank. When I drop dead, you'll have a couple of hundred.

I started laughing which made her start laughing. I put another two dollars in her purse. I told her that was for making me laugh. She looked at me & smiled... it was a good night.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Chanting "OM" with Mama - Mind, Body AND Spirit

Mama & I have our daily rituals during our visits. We sing, we play cards, we do breathing exercises & then we do some physical exercises. Some of the exercises we do, were ones that I learned while studying Yoga. Occasionally we even do breathing exercises that may lead to singing &/or chanting "OM". During this particular visit, Anna had some fun while chanting her OM's. She even commented that if anybody were to hear her, they'd think she was crazy - she also told me to go to hell... so much for positive energy. It's all about mind, body AND spirit!