My Mother’s 97th Spring


My husband and I visited my mother today at her nursing home home.  As we sat in her room and chatted my mother mentioned that she couldn’t remember where she was living now- what it looked like.  I suggested we might go for a little walk and look at the building from the outside.  Remarkably, she said yes.

My mother spent years mostly in a dark room, curtains closed against light that she was sure would trigger a migraine, paralyzed by anxiety about her blood pressure.  She was afraid to laugh or cry or listen to music, for fear of bringing on a stroke.  She missed many family celebrations and events ensconced in her messy room.  But in recent years she is more calm, more open, more grateful, and occasionally we can get her outside.

We traded slippers for socks and shoes and added a coat and blanket to the warm sweater she always wears.  My husband put the feet attachments onto the wheelchair, I signed her out at the desk, and down the elevator we went…

…out  the front door.  We walked a ways back to see the building entrance.  We walked down the sidewalk toward her wing and pointed out her stained glass piece she is so proud of having made, to identify her 3rd floor window.  We turned and walked the other way a bit.

We first spied the little pansies.  There were clay pots with mounds of new green leaves in their soil- overwintered most likely- and quietly amongst them, the sweet creamy yellow faces of small pansies!  My mother said, “They are asserting themselves!”

Then by the bench we came upon some classic bright yellow daffodils.  Their faces were turned down to the ground- they had suffered a bit by the last, late snowfall.  I lifted one up to show my mom and she said, “Keep going little flowers, you’ll win out.”


5 thoughts on “My Mother’s 97th Spring

  1. So beautiful! A perfect story to start this first day of spring.
    What a gift you gave to your mother through that walk.
    I liked your daffodil description – their faces turned down
    and the dialogue – they are asserting themselves
    and the dark tone in the beginning changing to the brightness on the walk outside
    Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it early so I can enjoy it with my breakfast!


  2. Oh, this is so touching. I’m sure your mom was grateful for the walk outside and I’m sure it lifted her spirits. I’m glad she was willing to go.

    Your love for you mom just shines right through this piece. Lovely.


  3. Thank you for this piece. While our mothers were not really similar, we were similar in understanding the emotional energy loving can take. You wrote this brilliantly. The structure painted a clear picture of environment and personality. Well done….Very well done.


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