Saturday, up again at dawn on . Too much to do! Too little time!
I wanted to a birthday card in the mail for my soon to be 15-year-old son. Mom needed a warm coat. So I drove to Veteran’s Thrift where I found two possibilities, a heavy tan wool coat with a button missing and a fax fur, white with black spots. I sent cell phone pixs of the coats to my daughter. We chose the fax fur one.
From Veteran’s Thrift I drove to the shoe store to return the double wide shoes I’d bought for Mom. They didn’t fit. The less expensive single wide athletic trainers that I bought at Sears fit. Go figure. The shoe keeper tried to sell me another size.
Now to my going away party for Mom. I had suggested it. At first, she'd said no. When one of the nurses said it was a good idea, she said yes. So she picked the date and invited her friends. I bought chocolate & yellow cupcakes, butter cookies with sprinkles, 7ups, plates, napkins and cups. Mom had asked me to bring apple pie. One of her new male friends, Henry, wanted apple pie. Late Friday night, as I stood in the bakery pondering apple pie versus cookies I decided that apple pie would be too messy. So I did not buy apple pie.
I wanted flowers for the party. Wendy's, a local floral shop was around the corner from the shoe store. Still unchanged all these years, Wendy’s had done the flowers for my wedding. While I waited for the florist to put together the arrangement I pondered my choice of not buying apple pie.
She’ll be disappointed, my inner voice said. I’ll explain. She’ll understand, I told myself.
Reo Vista provided formal dining room, coffee and ice at my request. I set up the room, arranging the flowers on a table with the food on a couple of Mom’s pretty serving plates.
What a dummy! I forgot to bring a music CD. We were stuck listening to the radio which was set on some disco station.
I found Mom in the dining room. Dressed up in her lavender and white floral PJs, Mom’s eyes sparkled. Her braids were coiled on top of her head, as she'd done most of her life. Clearly she was taking more interest in her appearance. I pushed her in her wheel chair to the formal dining
She surveyed my work with a critical eye.
“Do you think there’s enough food?” She said.
“Yes, there’s plenty.”
“Where’s the apple pie?”
I explained my reasoning. “People aren’t coming for the food. They are coming to see you,” I added. “Besides, you don’t know if Henry is coming.”
Frowning, she stared at the table.
She is disappointed.
“I could go buy an apple pie.” I said, hoping she would say, please don’t bother. The nearest places I might find an apple pie were miles away. I’d have to loose my parking place and drive through busy traffic.
“Henry said he wanted some apple pie.” She said, still staring at the table. Suddenly, she brightened. “Maybe the kitchen has one! Let’s find someone from the kitchen, ask them.”
I was reminded of that painting by Picasso, “Silent Scream”!
How typical I thought. Here I knocked myself out, trying to make something nice for her. Even the party was my idea, although Mom’s choice of dates and times was hers. She focused on the one thing that I had not brought.
She started working the wheels of the chair, inching her way to back to the big dining room. I felt compelled to help.
In the big dining room, she spotted a woman feeding a resident.
“Joan! Joan!” Mom waved her arms as I wheeled her toward the woman. “Joan, we need an apple pie.”
Joan paused spoon in mid air.
“For my going away party.” Mom said.
“We have cup cakes and cookies,” I said.
“Yes, but we need apple pie.”
“When do you need it?” Joan asked.
Mom looked at me.
“In about an hour.” I said.
Joan shook her head and began spooning food into the woman’s open mouth.
“You don’t need apple pie,” She said. “People aren’t coming to have apple pie. They’re coming to see you.”
In the end, Henry did not come.