Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Dear Little Bed - Grandmas Thank You Note

As you know, my mother has left my home this week and has gone back to her place. I have had much guilt and lots of tears with this decision. 

I LOVE my mother. She is the most knowledgeable person I have even met. There may be people who know LOTS of things about ONE or TWO things but my mother knows something about EVERYTHING. She knows words in every language, She has shaken the hands of Presidents, world leaders, Prophets of God, raised 8 children and served many in this world. 

My mother has a way of seeing the world that isn't like most people. She has NO fear. She would fly to New York, find a way to get into the city, find a cheap motel and then go to "Broadway" find tickets to a show and go. 

She will walk up to a gang member, call him "cutie" and have them all eating out of her hand in about 1 minute. She has no judgments for anyone. She LOVES everyone and every THING! She sees everything as having value. She won't throw anything about but will find a way to use it or create value out of it. I was talking to Princess Two today and we were discussing my mother and her situation and we started talking about my siblings and how each of us were in someway like my mother. 

I joked about my youngest sister who will literally take someone's trash and give it value by decorating it or painting it, re-purposing it and sell it or rent it out etc. I told her that was my mother. She saved everything because she could see the value in it. Things were her "friends" and she saw value in all the "things." Just like she sees value in every person, she saw value in the things. Each item tells a story. 

My sister and I spent three days sorting jewelry she had that filled nearly four banana boxes. (Click here for that post) We had many laughs at some of the things she did to "Fix" the jewelry. One time, she chewed up a red cough drop to replace a red stone on a piece of jewelry. She could fix things and talk people into buying or renting the item even when everyone else thought it was trash. 

What a unique gift she has to be able to find the value and beauty in everything and everyone! Where some would judge, she just loved. She at different times in my life had a Native American stay with us who just walked in off the street and came into her bedroom where she was breast feeding the baby. Instead of calling the police or freaking out, she invited him to stay in our home until he could find a place. 

On another occasion, she had a man addicted to drugs staying with her. We were all grown but she saw value in him and loved him for what he could offer. Not in an indecent way but for who he was as a person. She would find immigrants and refugees and would invite them to our home and befriend them. 

We had LOTS of kids growing up that she would befriend. Sometimes, I would have fear about some of the people she would find but her love seemed to transform them from where they were and would lift them up in their own minds because a beautiful woman could see the value in them and love them despite their obvious short coming that were so obvious to the rest of us. 

One day, my brother was being hit by rocks as a little boy was throwing them at him. My mother asked my brother why he thought this little boy would do such a thing and they went over and met the boy and his single mother and my mother befriended them and they joined our church and eventually moved away but kept in touch with my mother thanking her for helping them find Christ. 

So, as I spent the afternoon and evening cleaning out the house of the "grandma" stuff that had become so a part of the rooms, I pondered on my mother and her life. I know she is tired and I feel like she should be in a nursing home but being one of 8 in the decision process, I get outvoted. 

I removed the couch cover and washed it and had to laugh, as my mother, just before leaving pulled out the rolled up magazines with elastic on them that help hold the cover in place and stuck it on the little table I had near her tv set up. She is constantly in motion and with her memory failing kept pulling the magazines out of the couch telling me she "found" them for me. Each time I would laugh and tell her why my couch had the magazines in the creases. 

I washed up all the bathroom mats, bedding, couch covers, aprons, towels, blankets and vacuumed the entire house and deep cleaned the bathrooms, washed the walls and wanted to surprise Princess Five having cleaned up everything before her return from her choir tour today. 

Imagine my smile when I found this little note tucked in beneath the bed pillow. It is a thank you note to the bed! She wasn't being silly or funny, but truly loves EVERYTHING. She sees things like her friends and has to tell them "goodbye" when she lets them go or gives them away. 

I chuckled and thought I would keep that note forever. It reads:

"Dear Little Bed,
Thank you for your kind warmth each night as I have been here. XO" 

She asked me for a pen and paper as we were packing up her room and I asked her what it was for but she wouldn't tell me. How could she tell me she was writing the bed a thank you note! :-)

She wrote me a "Thank You" letter as we wrote letters to everyone before she called them so she could get her thought on paper. I joked with her that her writing was so bad that she couldn't even read it half the time. I asked her, "If you wrote me a check for a million dollars but no one could read it did you really give me a million dollars?"  so she started my letter three times and rewrote it twice but never finished the re-writes so I have had to pick out the words I could read to enjoy the letter she wrote me. 

I am VERY grateful that she wrote it when she had her mind and love that she wrote, "You have just spent a lot of time to help me see things the way things really are and that is not always a pleasant experience." She really had a wonderful blessing to be able to have her eyes opened to "fix" what needed fixing and even though I feel guilt about where she is knowing she is really tired, I know I have done what I felt I needed to do to help her feel OK about where she is and is going. 

I heard her say over and over on her calls to her siblings and mine, "I am just grateful that I don't have any pain." She truly did realize that she was blessed to have lived such an amazing life and that she could end her life just being tired but without the pain that accompanies so many other illnesses. 

It wasn't until I was replacing her mattress with a new one and making the bed in that spare room that she had spent the last three months surrounded by things she loved. That room was Princess Fives old room and is filled with film, theater, costumes and several pictures of my mother as a beauty queen and several crowns. She mentioned to me one day that it meant a lot to her that I had her pictures around my home in places of honor on shelves high on the wall right in the center. I realized then that I do have several spots where I have her pictures hanging, not just of her as a queen but of my father and her, her after she had children and a few of her as a beauty queen. I guess that would make me feel special and honored as well. 
My mother had a costume rental business for most of my life so yes, she would feel right at home with the little costumes I have hanging on the wall in that "theater" room. I also have a few movie props and a directors cap right above the headboard. I would think that my mother felt right at home in that little bed being able to view all the things that she loved in her life as she woke and went to sleep each day. 

The Dr.'s warned me months ago that the blood transfusions may stop working as the often do when someone has many of them. This last one seems to have taken it's toll on her and I really don't know how much time she has left. I can say I will never look at that bed in the same way, I will never view my couch cover and magazines the same way and I will smile about her "thank you" note to the bed each time I change the bedding! 

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