My Mom’s Shoes

by GfG on January 18, 2008 · 5 comments

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Some things have changed with my mom, so I thought I’d post an update…

Every Friday night now I go hang out with Mom while PL goes to play dominoes with his neighborhood cronies. He really enjoys the laughter and good times and Sis and I wanted to be sure he still got to do that (Sis comes in on Weds so he can go play poker with some buddies). Anyway, Mom and I watch CSI and Law & Order (her call on that) and just chill.
Before he left last Friday, PL asked me to go through two bags of Mom’s shoes. She can’t wear them anymore because of what the disease has done to her muscles and her gait, so since she and I have nearly the same shoe size he thought I might want some. I knew that moment would come. Mom told me a year ago one day out of the blue, “Ya’ know, you’re gonna have *a lot* of shoes!” I told her she can’t say things like that out of the blue to me, it made me cry. I knew it was a true statement, but I still didn’t want to hear that someday she would not be able to wear her shoes. Ya’ see… Mom is some kind of spiritual kin to Emelda Marcos. She never met a shoe she didn’t like. She wasn’t particular to a brand (although Clarks knows her well), just to lookin’ good.
So… I stared at the bags for a while that night, then finally started looking through them. I tried them on. I walked around in them. I walked around in my Mom’s shoes. I smiled and I cried as I thought of the outfits she had bought just for a particular pair of shoes. I could picture her so clearly wearing them and looking cute as a bug. As she sat in the recliner in the living room in her pajamas, barefoot, covered with a blanket, I wept at what I have already lost. No, thankfully, Mom has not passed on. But part of her has. She is not the same person. She is a shadow of that person. I am so glad she is still here. I don’t want her gone, but I feel like I am already grieving what I miss: I miss her sense of style, her grin when she would buy ‘another’ pair of shoes, the cute way she would show off her French pedicure in sandals, the way she would justify a shoe purchase, they way she would try to help me rationalize buying a pair of shoes I didn’t really need.
Almost every pair of shoes held a little story in my memory. It was like visiting with Mom again. I took some home. A couple of pairs I took just for the memory.
Mom is on oxygen all day now. She is tired a lot. Her facial muscles don’t allow her to smile or show emotion anymore. She uses the wheelchair when leaving the house (her wonderful massage therapist/friend is now going to come to the house), but doesn’t leave much. She is not allowed to get up or around by herself, even when using the walker, because she has fallen too many times. She seems a bit lost lots of the time. We have Hospice coming once a week now. A nurse to check on her and help PL with any Qs/concerns he might have. He has not opted for having aides come yet, but that can be changed at any moment. He’s is doing a fabulous job! It was a tough call to actually make. Calling Hospice is an emotional thing to do. I had a good cry with the case mananger (who remembed Mom from when she worked as Charge Nurse and House Manager at the hospital just over a year ago), but hearing all the services they provide, it was the right call to make. This way PL can have help as quickly as he can make the phone call. Things are all in order for whatever he thinks is the next step for helping care for Mom. PL, my Sis and I all consider it a priviledge to care for mom and are/will continue to do all we can, but it’s so nice to have support.
Your prayers would be much appreciated.
I feel much too young to be walking in my Mom’s shoes.
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