Yesterday would have been my dad’s 92nd birthday. He’s been gone now for almost nine years. The only thing he cared about at the end, was that mom would always be looked after when he wasn’t around anymore. A few Christmas’s ago, my sister painted this portrait from a wartime photo, of dad in his sailor’s uniform. It now hangs on mom’s wall at the care home.
When I arrived to see her today, she was lying on her bed, looking so cosy and warm under her mohair blanket. I kissed her forehead, but she didn’t open her eyes, so I just sat there for a while, looking at her face and feeling so much love for this wonderful mom of mine. I started talking to her about all the fun holidays and outings to the seaside we’d had as kids, and gradually, she came to and smiled at me. “Picnics,” she said, with a twinkle in her eye. Suddenly that one word, brought memories flooding back to me of my mom, young and fit, busily making delicious sandwiches, boiling eggs, buttering homemade scones and packing the picnic hamper with goodies, plus flasks of tea and bottles of cold drink. On a Sunday afternoon, we would all pile into dad’s car, and off we would go to some unknown destination. As children, we didn’t really care where we went, as long as there was a picnic at the end of the journey. Sometimes we’d go to a stately home in the country, and sit on blankets on the lawns, enjoying our sumptuous fare. My sister and I would then go off exploring, whilst our parents had a well-earned snooze in the sunshine. When travelling to the seaside, we’d usually stop in a lay-by for some refreshment. Out would come the picnic table and folding chairs, and whilst the traffic whizzed past us at frighteningly close quarters, we would munch on cheese sandwiches and rock cakes. There was no such thing as fast food outlets along the highways in those days. If you didn’t take it with you, you just didn’t get to eat.
Mom’s memory is fading so much these days, but with little prompts from me, she was able to recall people and incidents from our past, and seemed to really enjoy the tales I related to her. It was a very precious half hour. My sister then arrived with her dog, Dingo, and that really perked mom up. She was soon up and out of bed and sitting out on the verandah in the sunshine. Dingo was delighted with all the fuss she was making of him. Just look at the soppy look on his face.
All the while we were sitting there, the monkeys were playing in the trees. There were so many of them, big ones and tiny babies too. How many can you spot? If you click on the pic, it should enlarge.
The lady sitting next to mom, said that they are a wonderful source of entertainment for all the residents at the care home. Much better than TV, that’s for sure.
This was my Saturday morning in six words. How was yours?