It has been a bit since my last update to everyone on the travels of my mama and daddy. For those who may have just now tuned in, my mom has dementia, among other ailments such as diabetes that has taken a toll on her 80 year old body. Her man, my daddy, has been the sole caregiver for many years leading up to a time when his health got him sidelined which resulted in mama staying at a local life care (nursing) facility. The care in this facility is second to none and gave the family a glimpse of what we had no idea was coming. Daddy, however, believed his sole role was to bring his bride back home and he did….
Over the months extra hands were needed to provide the daily care a woman whose ability to communicate dwindles and the mobility is almost gone. The time was coming and did come when her man – my daddy – saw that the best care for her was at the nursing facility. So daddy loaded his bride up and settled her back in to room 243 in Tullahoma life care. No words to describe the pain that is coursing through my daddy, he is healing as the family continues to remind and love him through the fact that, yes, this is best but still painful.
One trait that mama hasn’t lost is her laugh and her eyes. These deep dark eyes that will light up the room when she meets ya. Wednesday this week i met daddy in tullahoma for breakfast at his favorite little restaurant, City Café. The ladies there just dote all over him and boy does he drink it in. They ask about mama and send plates of food often. We finished and headed over to hang out with his bride, my mama. As we entered the building ladies were positioned around tables. Some in wheel chairs, only a few agile enough to walk and seat themselves. Around those tables were other women feeding the ladies. Feeding ladies who one day fed. I’m picturing now the words, the “gooo gooo gaaaa,” the pleading, the “open up the hanger let the airplane in” ways my mama used to coax open the mouths of me and my brother. Pretty sure her eye brows would be raised describing the excitement that would come if only I would open up.
I came up to mama as she was being fed by her now buddy, Mary. I said “hey mama” kissed her forehead like she would kiss us…like a machine a gun on automatic hahaha…..and her eyes lit up to say, “Hey tommy”
Tommy is her sister’s son, who many would say that me, Tommy, and his brother Jerry looked alike. I said, “Hey mama, you having fun with breakfast?” “Yes honey, now yall go play,” replied mama. Then she heard a voice, a voice that was all too familiar, one that jolted her head and eyes over my head and latched on to her man. Her man had arrived….and her eyes lit up….incredibly bright eyes!
WOW WOW WOW….she may not have the words but her eyes said it all….My man is here and I am safe…..Daddy saunters over to give his “poooky” a kiss on her scrambled egg covered lips. As I sat and watched I couldn’t help but think of the days their eyes first met and lit up with excitement, screaming bright at the sight of this new found beauty in each other. Or the day as she starts to walk down the aisle, her eyes bright with excitement to become one with her man, Dan, through the One, Jesus. The bright deep brown eyes that would light up each time she and her man would load a bus in their retirement years and head off to a destination she always wanted to go to.
The eyes are bright, no not all of the time. The eyes of Joann Bivins, wife to Dan Bivins, mama to Danny and Michael (she has always called me Michael), mama to our brides Brenda and Deb. Nanny B to all of our kiddos and now a great grandma to Everleigh, will go off into a distant stare at times, yet I know they will be bright as can be one day when she sees Jesus face to face!
Thanks for letting me catch ya up. you are loved, thanks for loving me.