She asked me to look at what happened to her email because she hasn’t opened it in a month. When I was on her computer, I saw that the desktop shortcut was still there. I showed her how to click on the icon to open her email. I watched her slowly type her username and password. When she had to scroll the page up or down, I showed her how to use the track pad and left-click button (using page up and page down buttons were harder). After some time, she admitted that she was having a hard time seeing the left-click button since it was the same color as the keyboard. We put a little sticker on it, and that made it much easier for her. She was also having some difficulty reading the letters on the keyboard, hence the slow typing.
After she went through some of her emails, my mom told me that she wants to have her cataracts removed. She has had them for months now. She had seen a doctor about it, and when she asked if she should have them removed, the doctor said that it is up to her. The cataracts aren’t critical or life-threatening, and she can still see although her vision is now hazy. My father has already had the procedure done and he now has perfect vision. Understandably, my mom would also want to get her normal vision back.
She also told me about how she needs a dental procedure done, and asked if I could first accompany her to a dentist. She admitted that because of pain and discomfort, she is having a hard time eating. She has to pick soft, easy-to-eat food. As if my mother isn’t thin enough, now she can’t eat comfortably.
Having that talk with my 73-year-old mother reminded me of how difficult things must be for her now. My mother always made taking care of others, especially her family, a number one priority. Now, as a grandmother, she still does what she can to take care of her grandchildren. However, unlike in her younger days when she would drive us around, feed us, make sure we had what we needed for school, etc., now my mom is the one who needs caring.
I am reminded of the care, the sacrifices, the hard work my mother did for my siblings and me when we were young. I know that her maternal instinct is still there, still strong, still aching to care for her family. Even when her body isn’t as young and as strong as it used to be, even when her body won’t let her do things for herself and her loved ones. I write this to honor my mother and all mothers who are so dedicated to their families. I honor my mother and all mothers who are feeling the pains of growing old yet refusing to give up their maternal calling. You are remembered; you are important; you are loved.