chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things

random gratitude…

Dorothy at 36
My mother made the Two Hardest Decisions entirely on her own, without discussion or persuasion.

One day, when she was in her 80s and my father was still alive, Dorothy announced that she was not going to drive any more. Another day, about three years after my father died and my mother was already on the slippery slope of dementia, she turned to me and, absolutely lucid, said, “I’m feeling too isolated in the house. I want to move to assisted living.”

In each of these choices, once she determined her path, she never looked back. That’s not to say there weren’t some terrible struggles getting her into and out of the car, when she would plant her feet and stiffen her frail 100-pound body, refusing to bend, responding to a Stop sign that only she could see. And that’s not to say that she didn’t sometimes complain about the food at the place she called “this hotel.”

But for all the difficulty we had being mother and daughter, these two decisions were immeasurable gifts and I continue, more than a decade after her passing, to be grateful.
. . . . .
photo: Dorothy at age 36

6 responses to “random gratitude…

  1. awritersalchemy May 19, 2014 at 10:38 am

    This is a journey I am now on with my mother — and she didn’t give up her car gracefully! I appreciate hearing your story.

  2. jik May 19, 2014 at 11:14 am

    My heart goes out to you….I know how hard it can be.

  3. kristin May 19, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I hope I’m as thoughtful of my children and aware of my limitations when my time comes.

  4. jik May 19, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks, Kristin.

  5. lm May 19, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    My mom couldn’t make either of those decisions, and the outcomes were difficult and stressful in both cases. I’m grateful to her for many things, but not for how she fought any limits whatsoever on her independence (though I still admire that spirit). It’s good to hear about your mom and I so hope I will be aware enough and loving enough to cut my own daughters a break.

  6. jik May 19, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Oh, Lane…I think your story is more typical. How difficult it is to let go gracefully of the things that most truly symbolize our independence. I hope we will all have the wisdom and grace to ease the way for those around us. Thanks.

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