Shopping with the Octogenarian
My card today uses the Special Reason bundle from the Stampin’ Up! Occasions Catalog. I made it for my mom (story follows).
The flowers, sentiment, and die-cut for the sentiment are all from the Special Reasons Bundle. I used the Blooms and Bliss Designer Series Paper for the layers, and the Affectionately Yours Designer Washi Tape. I used the So Detailed Thinlits Dies for the intricate die-cut layer. The inside sentiment is “…except to let you know how special you are!” And since this card is for my mom, anyone who knows her will agree with this.
My husband’s mom (MIL) has recently moved to an assisted living facility (ALF). She can do most things for herself, but she’s a fall risk, so she cannot live alone. We had to sell her house last month, and it was, of course, quite hard for her to have to give up the house and everything in it. There were so many memories there.
One of her major complaints these days is that her clothes don’t fit. She’s lost quite a bit of weight since she moved to the ALF, because she has to do a lot of walking (a major plus!), but being on a fixed income, there just wasn’t enough disposable income to replace her wardrobe and cover all her expenses. Since the house sold, though, she has a little money to play with, so I took her shopping today. Of course, I enlisted the help of my mom. She understands how her generation thinks, and she’s got lots of experience dealing with “old people.” And when I say, “old people,” it definitely should be in quotes, because most of them are younger than my mom. Mom has gone with me to several ALFs to do crafts or to sing, and she’s older than most of the residents – but you’d never know it.
My mom is the most amazing woman I know – and I know some pretty amazing women. I forget that she’s 26 or so years older than me, because she can run circles around me and all of my friends. She’s always been active and busy, so she doesn’t let age slow her down. I can’t imagine her ever giving in to anything. She’s seriously that stubborn. When people ask how my parents are doing – with that “Oh, I know they’re older and are probably a pain to you” inflection – I can honestly say, “They’re healthier than anyone I know – including me.” So I don’t know how to deal with “old people,” because my parents aren’t. And besides all that, Mom knows everything. Who needs Google when I can just call Mom? And if she doesn’t know the answer, Dad will.
So – back to the shopping expedition. We shopped for at least five hours today. I ran ahead to several areas of the store, because I wanted to “scout out” the offerings (and grab as many things on “the list” that I could to save time), so Mom and my mother-in-law followed. My MIL was riding one of the store scooters, and Mom was walking. And Mom was walking a lot faster than the scooter. (I don’t think my MIL knew how to get out of first gear. She was definitely not a “first gear girl” growing up, so I’m not sure what happened here.) Because Mom wanted to be sure she knew where I was, she was a bit ahead of my MIL. MIL needed shoes, so we were heading to the shoe section. I got there first and looked for some things that might be appealing. A few minutes later, I saw Mom. “I’ve lost MIL!” she said. Hmmmmm – how can you lose an 81 year old on a 1000 pound scooter going at a turtle pace? I started to ask several people if they had seen an older lady on a scooter, but this store is close to at least three assisted living facilities. Older ladies on scooters were everywhere.
Mom and I split up to search. I called Mike. “I’ve lost your mom.” He didn’t seem to think it was a big deal. Then I found her – but couldn’t find my mom. I called back, “Now I’ve lost my mom!” He didn’t seem too worried about that either. He was no help at all today – except he brought me wine, so he’s forgiven! I told MIL to stay put, then searched for Mom – not that I was worried about her, but because I didn’t want her worrying. (When I found her, she was getting ready to have MIL paged. My mom is nothing if not resourceful!)
When we were all finally reunited, we shopped a bit more, then I went to find something else MIL wanted while they headed to the clothes section. When I returned to the area I had left them, they were gone. I texted Mike: “Now I’ve lost both of them.” His response was, again, not helpful – “Run!!”
To make a long story short (and I know you’re thinking, “Too late!” – but you don’t know what we went through today!), I think MIL had a wonderful time, and she got some fun new clothes. Remember – she was on a scooter and Mom and I were walking. Mom’s FitBit recorded at least two miles of walking. ( I had stuck my FitBit in my pocket last night and didn’t find it until after our shopping trip, so who knows how many steps I had.) Mom was fortified after sitting for 15 minutes for lunch; I took a nap as soon as I got home and still was ready for bed at 7 p.m.
I realize I will never be the woman my mom is. She’s so strong, and smart, and talented, and wise. I can only hope to be half the woman she is – and that’s being optimistic.
I love you, Mom! You are my inspiration – my ideal as a Christian woman, my role model as a business owner, and the epitome of a perfect wife, mother, and grandma. You totally rock!
Thanks for stopping by Stamping with Buffy. Have a wonderful day – and, if you can – go hug your mom!