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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Love (04/27/06)

TITLE: The Tie That Binds
By Debra Brand



It’s my mom’s favorite word…nowadays.

Usually, it’s preceded by a conflict with my sister over some trivial matter that gets blown out of proportion into an eruption of emotional confusion.

My mom is 81. I would say that she has early dementia because she never admits to her age. She still colors her hair and made us promise not to let our hair go grey like older ladies.

The artist within her is still evolving, still creating, still attending classes.

After years of struggling with her weight, she’s down to 109 pounds. I think my dad would have liked her new figure. Her cholesterol levels and blood pressure, if they could be patented, would be worth tons of money.

The doctor asked her the other day, how she has maintained her health all these years.

“Well, I smoked but never inhaled and gave that up. I couldn’t get more than one drink or beer down my throat. Oh, and I walked the dog and watched what I ate. I just wish I could still drive.”

Her tests will be scheduled soon for a sleeping disorder and blood work to see if her B12, potassium and folic acid levels are where they should be. Aging is a normal process and some things just come with the territory.

It’s the emotional roller-coaster that is so disturbing and more personal than just an article in a magazine. The occasional bouts of terrified oblivious panic are causing quite a bit of consternation for all of us.

Her anger and anxiety were evident in her voice on Wednesday after seeing the neurologist. “What’s the matter with you two girls? It’s like you can’t wait to find something wrong with me. Sooner or later, you will.”

The peacemaker in me replied. “Mom, it’s our turn to take care of you, no matter what. If you were us, you’d be doing the same thing.”

Her irritation with us was squelched for the moment. “Yes, you’re right. I would have you at the doctor’s immediately. I just don’t like getting old and not being able to be on my own.”

We ended up having a wonderful lunch. Food seems so satisfying and important to her. Tomorrow will be another day of reminding her of today, another day of repetitive words, soothing comfort and of things to come.

But, that’s what families do.

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This article has been read 743 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Virginia Gorg05/08/06
Eventually, we become the caregivers for our parents. This is well written. :)
Brandi Roberts05/08/06
This was sweet!
darlene hight05/08/06
This piece flowed nicely and endeared me to your mother. It is so difficult getting old and caring for someone who is getting old. Well done!
Jessica Schmit05/08/06
Very good writing here. I loved so mnay sentences and the way you phrased certain things. Very good!
Dr. Sharon Schuetz05/09/06
Good job. You captured the emotions that many of of face with aging parents. I really like the way you ended it with the sentence, "that's what families do."
Phyllis Inniss 05/11/06
This is such a lovely, tender article. The last sentence just sums up everything. Reaching 81 is quite an achievement and we can understand your mother's frustration with losing her independence.