Dispatches from Princeton Towers: Friendship
Things were pretty quiet in the lobby of The Home for Wayward Seniors this afternoon when I went to visit Mom. We have some crazy weather headed our way, so I’m pretty sure that everyone is hunkering down in their apartments, probably glued to the Weather Channel. My big goal was to get Mom to the hospital next door to visit her friend before any weather shenanigans started.
Mom wasn’t feeling well at all today. Her hip is wanting to give out on her, and she says she feels very unsteady, even with her walker. However, she wanted to visit John (of ‘Wayne and John’, aka, John Wayne). John is Mom’s best friend here in Birmingham. He calls to check on Mom a few times a day, and he and Wayne have pretty much adopted Mom as their own. They tease her without mercy…and she loves every minute of it- even the possum pot pie jokes when she’s trying to eat.
I have loved watching the friendship between my ninety-two year old mother and forty-two year old John. Mom will tell things to John that she wouldn’t dream of telling to any other man, and they have a standing routine of jokes. Wayne cooks like a Southern-style Betty Crocker, and they are always bringing Mom something good to eat- the way to Dorothy’s heart, for sure. We all wait to hear Mom’s meal count, usually, “Wow- I got four meals out of that!” as she portions out the leftovers and puts them in the fridge. Her Christmas dinner leftovers were a new world record, “I got NINE meals out of all that, Neese!” Dorothy wastes no food- period. If she can’t eat it, she gives it away. Part of the Great Depression will always live inside of her.
At ninety-two, Mom has lost so many friends- six dear friends just in the past year alone. I guess one of the down sides of living such a long life, is that you will lose many people you love. And she has, having lost her parents, her siblings, her oldest son and daughter, her ex-husband (whom she still loves to this day), cousins, nieces and nephews, and many friends over the years. That is life, though – with the great joy of living also comes the sadness of losing those we care about.
Mom is a good and faithful friend, and once she is your friend, she is always your friend. She will be there for John through this ordeal as best she can. I learned about being a good friend from her, and I am thankful for that. My close circle of friends are dear to me- the family I choose. We will all stand together, through thick and thin…even through possum jokes and teasing. Heavy D’s got this.