Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom

Cookie's Mom
(October 1, 1924-November 9, 2010)

A year ago today we had one of those surreal moments with our parents as they approach the end of their lives.  Mom's drivers license expired on her Birthday last year and the one thing she wanted for her birthday more than anything was to get it renewed.  I had committed to giving a presentation to the local genealogical society that Saturday, so the husband dropped me off the Historical Center complex and then went to get Mom and take her to get her license, but she started to get crotchety - am outcome of the radiation treatment and her Oxycodone, and he needed help dealing with her.

She wouldn't leave the license bureau, so he left and got me.  When we got back there, there she sat right where he left her.

So I walked up to the counter with her and the woman looked at me, her eyes full of trepidation.  We walked through the eye exam, which Mom nailed, except she couldn't understand the part about the peripheral vision - that there were lights flashing along the sides of the eye cones and that she needed to tell us when she saw it and wave her hands to indicate left or right.

When she was trying to figure out what to look for, the woman behind the counter mouthed to me "You aren't going to let her drive, are you?" 

I mouthed back "No - we have her car with us, but this license means a lot to her."

So the woman behind the counter played along as long as she could, then we had to go to the Highway Patrol Office to see if their lower light helped her.  We waited for our turn and while we waited she turned to me and said "Do you remember when we used to go looking for things at junk stores and we tried to bring home that big thing from that one store, but it wouldn't fit in my Riviera?"

Oddly, I did.   It was a large store display that had been chucked in the back and Mom thought it would make a display for my car collection in our basement. I must have been ten (and she would have been 48), so neither of us could move the damned thing.  We struggled with it for a about a half hour before we gave up.

"We sure had fun, didn't we." she said.  It wasn't a question, but a statement, because did have fun when it was us against the world.

They called us up, and again, she nailed the eye exam.  The trooper behind the counter and I had the same discussion in silence that I had had with the woman next door.  FINALLY Mom caught on and saw the blinking lights from the corner of her eyes.

God love that trooper; he told her that she passed and could get a new drivers license, but he also told her that she was not to drive until she had been off the pain pills for a month.  She agreed (but she had no intention of listening to him) and we left with her new license.  We, of course, kept the car because keeping that car 40 miles away was the only way we were going to keep her from driving.

That was one long afternoon, but I so glad that we were together for it.  And I can look back and laugh to myself.  Yes, we did have fun that afternoon, and all those other days before.

I miss her an awful lot.

And I miss being able to do things for her, like making sure she got what was the most important thing for her for her birthday.


  1. I do wonder about my own mother sometimes. I wish I were able to be closer sometimes. It's stories like this that really say something about a person.

  2. "And I miss being able to do things for her, like making sure she got what was the most important thing for her for her birthday."

    Such a good son!

  3. Such a wonderful post. God bless her.