“We all have baggage; let’s resolve to only have carry-on” – Anonymous
I’ve got a trip coming up that I’m excited and a little nervous about: a trip “home” to visit Mom on the family farm.
What I hope for most is lots of uninterrupted time with her. Time to talk, time to laugh, time to reminisce and time to make new memories.
When you see your mother only once a year, you can get a little stingy with how those minutes are spent.
Don’t want to share. Don’t care to go see so and so. Don’t really want anyone to know I’m there.
I want to linger in the morning sunshine, drinking coffee with her and forget that I’m “on the clock” and will have to board a plane again soon. I want to stay up too late watching the evening news peppered with our opinions on world events and family nuances. I want to stand at her stove and cook for her while singing to Willie, Elvis and Roy, like we did when I was a girl.
I just want to spend time with her.
I have one sister who has embraced my plan. She “gets” it. She lives nearby and is with Mom often. She’s seen her slow down and understands when I say, “Please don’t schedule too much while I’m there; I just want to be with her.” She knows we’ll have a few outings or times when we’re all together for she wants to be near me, too.
I have another sister who’s informed me that I “just don’t get it.” That she’s expecting me to come home and rifle through Mom’s things and convince her to move off the farm and closer to her. Which Mom doesn’t want to do. The last thing I’m going to do is land on her doorstep and start doling out orders.
Pity the fool who tries it! Heh heh.
I’m mindful of the fact that Mom’s getting older. We all are.
I’m mindful of the fact that things are changing and some decisions will need to be made. But, in my mind, she gets a say, too.
So … instead, what I’m focusing on are those morning moments of sunshine and coffee, of old photo albums and a lemon loaf she’s made just for me. I’m not a tourist; I’ve been there before. I just want to be with her.
And I’m determined to arrive with only carry-on.