Visit With An 89 Year Old

  • DSCN0825My mom. I made my plans to visit her in her new home. Earlier in 2014 my mom relocated to Portland. Nicer place and more space even though her furnishings are few in number. I was given a roll-away bed by Hospitality. The visit began on the heels of Thanksgiving Day.

Her minimalistic lifestyle was evident by virtue of the items she discarded during the move. The TV, her radio/boom box (she never learned how to use it — too many buttons), her toaster and her coffee maker were conspicuously absent.  She had never enjoyed board games or cards.  I lamented the lack of diversions and set out to make the best of it.  Fortunately, the MAX, a train system similar to the San Francisco Bay Area BART, ran beside her building and once I had learned the routes, I hopped on.  Two different times one day and once again the following day I boarded the train bound for adventure.  I felt triumphant.  And a little bit guilty.  My mom does not move at a speed to match mine, she tires easily and doesn’t care to shop.  I took the train to the Portland downtown where I was met with an outdoor market that covered three areas spanning several streets with dozens and dozens of vendors, some food (killer onion rings) but mostly high-end, one-of-a-kind handcrafted items. Bliss. Several purchases later I returned to my mom’s apartment feeling quite accomplished.

So there it is.  When we get together it is not with a flurry of activity.  But we do indulge in singing Mexican songs from her era, maybe a bit off-key. I belt it out, and she laughs. Did you know she once had aspirations to compete in a singing contest when she was in her early 20s? She changed plans when she received some unanticipated discouragement and backed away. Discouragement can be a formidable foe.

I learned Spanish growing up with my mom. A nearly straight “A” endeavor in high school. I love the language as I love my mom.  With limitations, the brief visit with an 89 year old went well.

2 thoughts on “Visit With An 89 Year Old

    • She and her sister, Carmen, were to enter the contest when their mom discouraged them by saying, “Why do you want to do that?” “You won’t win.” How sad is it when a mom does nothing to encourage. I left out the identifying feature, that it was her mom, because I didn want her mom to be the heavy.

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