Winter weather is settling over the east coast, causing a nip in the air, and as I head home I am dreaming of a snow day from school before Christmas. (Please!?!) I am usually the first to arrive at home, lighting the window candles and flicking the newly installed switch that turns on the myriad of lights, cascading from bush to fence to bush in our front yard. Of an entire addition we have added to our once small ranch, that switch is my husband's favorite new toy. One of these days I am going to stay out late enough for someone to light the way home for me!
On my ride home, thoughts of baking Mom's famous snickerdoodles, a favorite of both my daughter and sister, also come to mind. I am usually thinking of my mom on my ride home. You see, while she is strong of heart and soul, her body and mind are succumbing to Alzheimer's disease. It has ravaged most of her once sharp mind, but miraculously her wit and spirit remain. A testament to her sweet personality and loving heart, the disease has not changed the essence of who she is. Sweet Sue. The love of my Dad's life, who once cared for his parents, in much the same way that I now feed, sing to, and from whom I tirelessly try to coax a smile. One little smile can make my day.
I am pretty sure that in the last 5 years I have held my mother's hand more often that I ever did when I was young. Mother becomes child, child becomes mother. There is an unconditional love that allows a new relationship to form, forever bonding hand to hand, and tying heartstrings together in an inexplicable circle of life. I speak to her of stories from when we grew up, hoping to see a glimmer of recognition in the names and places that I can still picture so clearly.
Today I retold for Mom the story of the day my horse, Ben, became Houdini for a day, opening his stall door and sashaying his wide hind-end toward the farm house. (Yes the one in the picture!) I will never forget the shriek that came out of my Mom, when she looked out of the kitchen window to see Ben looking right back at her! I am pretty sure dinner was late that night. Ben was corralled and returned to his stall in the barn, where he continued his tricks for many years to come. Like the night the lights were flashing on and off in the barn. But that's a story for another time.
A warm country hug to all,