It's a part of my daily routine at work to go out on the patient units periodically and that includes the one where both of my parents spent their last months. It was painful at first so I avoided it. Now, it just seems like any other spot where people are sick and getting care. Until today, that is. I watched as one lady was tended to and how she was struggling and considered why we were there doing what we do, taking into account what I know as the daughter of two who have gone on over. I felt her daughter's pain as she watched carefully to make sure her mother was gaining comfort with each moment. I remembered being there with my own parents and wondering when, and how, it would end. Eventually it did over the span of five months. I saw my younger brother twice in one year which is a record. It was cathartic and painful all rolled up into one. The three of us grew up together on this farm and only the neighbors know what a wonderful little community we had.
There was one little family of sharecroppers who lived just a few yards down from us and I played with the little girls named Georgie and Rosie. They had an outdoor toilet and such so it was kind of my view into the other side of civilization. Born in '55, I never had to do that except in an emergency at some great aunt's family reunion dinner. It stunk to high heaven, especially in the summer.
Our life was pleasantly predictable as my parents were well known and respected by community leaders. They gave of themselves heartily to the least of these. When Daddy was still driving he would circle the hood in the dead of summer to take kids out to the New Life Mission Camp so they could fish and do "normal" stuff. He fried taters and onions at many charity BBQ benefits, hauling the equipment and veggies around in the back of somebody's truck. That task has now been taken over by others including our road commissioner.
Mama was a real servant of the church in that social organizing kind of way that was her pride and joy. Every holiday and birthday was an occasion to be celebrated around her table, even if there was always a ketchup bottle in the picture. Everybody had a cake, and sometimes more than one. She was just that way and I adored it. I remember crying as I told her how much I appreciated it and wanted my own daughter to enjoy that sort of thing because hey...I'm definitely not Martha Stewart. I haven't even sent my BG a card in about five years! She has, however, gotten other traits from me that will serve her well. Her MeMaw instilled gracious southern ways into both of our souls. That includes but is not limited to a Steel Magnolias kind of love. Mom and Daddy were both supporters of the local volunteer blood program not just because it was my job, but because it's what good people do when they are blessed. She was instrumental in establishing our home bound communion team.
No news is good news from ISIS. Just saying. And as far as I know Prince is still dead but Elvis is in the building