chocolate is a verb

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Tag Archives: driving

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

Sunday drive…

Charlotte twitched. They were fighting again in the back, their legs thumping against the seats, the car vibrating with their bouncing. Jacob had yelled, to little effect, and now the skin was pulled tight across the back of his hands as he gripped the wheel.

She reached into the basket at her feet. Wedged alongside the sandwiches and apples were the sweaters and dry socks, toys and books that would rescue them from the day’s small chaos.

As Charlotte turned in her seat, the three children left off their brawling to watch her. She handed Sam a book on bugs. Lilly and Joshua each got a fat pencil and a drawing pad. Quiet for Papa, she signed. Then, to the twins, her fingers said, cow, horse, barn, draw. They pulled their gaze away from her hands to look out the car windows.

The air was fragrant with apple blossoms and turned earth.

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