Friday, January 8, 2010
Thoughts about mom
Hannah (Ann) Cottrell
May 20th, 1925 - January 2nd, 2010
My fav picture of mom. 1944 in Camp Borden. Where she snagged dad :-)
Susan, David and I were very lucky. We grew up with parents that loved us and took very good care of us. We didn’t always know that back then. We didn’t like doing the chores and would complain like normal kids, or at least some of us. Susan would complain that I was getting away with murder and Dave would complain when he had to do the dishes and I would keep my mouth shut and slip out the back door while mom was telling them to do as they were told. Dad in the mean time was having his after dinner constitutional and doing his best imitation of bobbing for apples in his chair.
When dad passed away 16 years ago it fell on us three to fill in for dad and take care of mom. Over the years I wonder sometimes who took care of who more. Mom helped all of us in more ways than one. She was always there for us and even still nagged us if we needed it. It was not the old, “Pick it up and put it away” line but it was still mom caring and instead of rolling our eyes we would say, “yes mom”
When we would come to visit there would aways be a wish list that mom would have or sunnydolist as I called it. Being familiar with the hunnydolist already I knew what was expected and tackled the jobs that mom had for me. I know Susan and Dave had the same experiences when they would visit. Until I moved back to the area that would only be when we came on vacation. Mom would have the list and I would work on it and she would be telling me to relax you are on vacation. Yes mom... I liked doing it and never minded. I knew what dad would have expected from all of us and we were there for mom.
On top of my weekly visits home there would be the phone conversations once or twice a week. Mom was always up on what was going on and loved to talk about current events. She told me that she loved to talk to all three of us as there was always that freedom to talk about things that you wouldn’t to other people. I think that stemmed from mom’s old conversations at the dinning room table at supper with dad. She would be on a rant about something and then seemed to remember that we were sitting there. She would turn to us and say. “You don’t repeat anything you hear at this table out of this room”. We would assure mom that we would never think of doing that. We wanted to reach or next birthday with all our body parts attached...
I the last few years more of our time with mom had been running back and forth to Dr. And hospitals. We never minded even though mom would keep saying you don’t have to do this. I would tell yes I do. Never told her it was my job because it was not a job. Did it because I loved her and of course it was what dad wanted. Our job was to take care of mom. It was not a job but a duty which I discharged with love until last Saturday. I know that our temporary job of taking care of mom is over and she is now back with dad. I’m sure he will be happy with the love and support that we provided to mom in his absence...
Regrets... everyone has them. There was something that you didn’t do or something that you did do that you shouldn’t have. While mom was in the hospital I always wanted to tell her not to worry. Dad was waiting for her and would take care of her. Telling her that would have meant admitting that she was leaving us and that is hard to do...
She is with dad now and we have discharged our duty to her and to dad. We were the temporary help and our job is done. I am not sad because she is back with dad but I will miss her.