I visited the parentals this past weekend. I headed down Friday after work and returned yesterday. I debated going a little bit but in the end decided it’d be more fun than just hanging out by myself in my apartment for the weekend. I needed a change of scenery. I needed it for myself.
I also wanted to go to see Mom. I can understand more how she is really doing when I see her in person verses hearing about it from Dad. Saturday Mom had a hair cut so Dad and I went to lunch while waiting to go pick her up. When we picked up Mom she looked great and was in such good spirits as Dad wheeled her out. I always think it’s amazing what a hair cut can do to give a boost to anyone. To keep the good spirits going, I immediately suggested we go to Nordstrom’s because they were having their big Anniversary sale. I knew it would really be a good pick me up for Mom to go to the mall and wander around. So we did.
As I was pushing her inside we were surrounded by the shiny tile floor, the bright lights and the clothes…Mom immediately said, “Oh I could just cry, you don’t know how happy it makes me to be inside of a mall.” It was a moment that most people wouldn’t pay much attention to, just walking inside of Nordstrom’s and focused on their destination. But for us this moment wasn’t about the destination but about the experience. It made me pause and truly appreciate this moment with Mom. A moment I would have normally taken for granted and not even paid much attention to that turned out to be a moment that meant so much to Mom.
Mom has always been very active, running errands and driving us around from place to place. In many ways MS has taken that freedom from her. Losing that has been difficult and I am now realizing how difficult it truly is. We try to take Mom places but many times she would prefer to just stay home. There are a lot of variables in trips outside the house that make her nervous and all of these variables are eliminated simply by staying home. But at the same time staying home is not uplifting for Mom. It can in many ways put her in a cycle of being very down about life.
I am not going to lie and say that doing this is simple. The process of the mall and then going out to dinner afterwards was actually very involved. Getting mom in and out of the car, in and out of the store, in and out of the restroom, there is a lot there. It isn’t easy. It requires a strategic balance between different levels of concentration and still maintaining a fun relaxed mood at the same time. I am learning to navigate not only places but also how navigate my mind in a calm way under stressful moments to improve Mom’s experiences in places. I am also learning in a big way that sometimes the best things in life are the ones you have to work for the hardest. In a way some of the most positive memories I can create with Mom right now are the ones that require the most effort on my part. We still have a lot of fun inside our home but activities outside our home can really lift up the entire family.
In a round about way I realized that in the same way it is important for me to personally get out of my apartment and go places to socialize, it is equally if not more important to make sure Mom is also. It doesn’t have to be everyday or even every weekend but it needs to happen. It’s important for Mom and it’s important for us. The bottom line: it’s important.
Do you recognize in yourself the need for a chance of scenery sometimes? Do you understand the balance between making sure you are having a fun time and concentrating on the task at hand? Are you hitting up the Nordstroms Anniversary Sale?