A Better You in 2016!

Yesterday was my mother’s 70th birthday….three-score and ten! I haven’t had a lot of time to spend with her lately. She lives alone and she maintains her independence by driving where ever she wants to go. She is also a home health aide for 3 elderly people; an elderly couple in their 80’s and a 91 year- old widow.

My mom has spent most of her time with my other siblings. So, I decided it was my turn to hang out with her today. She drives really slowly now. Since it was snowing this morning, as it often does in Chicago’s winters, I thought I would go and pick her up…give her a little break from driving. She was totally elated that I had offered to do the driving.

I took her to get her usual cup of coffee, the “senior coffee”, which costs a little cheaper than the regular coffee. I then took her to have a reflexology session. She had been complaining that her feet had began to hurt from time to time. Circulation can become impaired as aging occurs. After the reflexology session, I took her to get something to eat. Nothing fancy, just a local hamburger restaurant.

She was like a 5 year-old riding in the front seat for the first time! She was so happy to share this time with me. Her cell phone rang. She answered promptly. It was my older brother, her 3rd youngest child. She commenced to tell him about how she was having such a great day, smiling from ear to ear. I think it’s fair to say that she exaggerated a tid-bit, too!

I hadn’t really been with mama a whole lot since I had been married and had children. I actually enjoyed her company, in spite of her “back-seat-driving”.

The experience that I had today reminded me that as our parents age, they begin to need us as much as we needed them when we were children. My mother wanted my attention and my affection.

Had I allowed myself to become so busy with life that I had forgotten to be a daughter? When and how could I have let that happen? Mothers are important, right? Well, at least they should be! We only get one!

After dropping her off at her home, she got out of the car. I watched her walk to her porch. She had a much slower, unsteady gait, now, than what I remembered. As I watched her walk, it dawned on me that she is getting older and needs me more. My heart fluttered! She was lonely, too! How did I miss all this?

It is my goal to be a better me in 2016! While I have professional goals, I think my personal goals are even more important. My mother is important! I can be a better me by being a better daughter! No one lives forever….and no one ever wishes that they worked longer hours when they are lying on their death bed. No one ever wishes that they had printed more reports. But everyone would probably say that they would have wanted to spend more time with the people that they loved. Life is too short to miss out on all the little moments that we get to share with people who are close to us.

So I have declared that in 2016, I can be a better me by giving to others. I will start by giving more time to mama!

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