Keep Smiling…with Rosie Preston – Mom, I already miss you


By Rosie Preston

It’s been 12 years since my mother’s illness began, yet it seems just like yesterday that I could visit with her, share books, watch funny movies, and talk on the phone at least once a day. I already miss the way my mom was when she was younger. This kind of situation is something one never thinks about when you are young and your parents are definitely aging, but your mind just seems to stop there because your life is usually busy working or raising children, and your days are so busy that you just don’t see this coming. I never saw it coming. I could not imagine my parents getting older.
My mom is now an invalid yet still speaks of memories of we have shared. Those are good days for me. She still remembers her daughters, her grandchildren and even some of her great-grandchildren! I wish they could know her story and how different her life was when she was young.
I remember how she loved to write, and how most of the time she would sit in front of our picture window. Even though I knew she was writing, I was too young to ask questions. It was only after I found many of her poems, stories and journals after she had to leave her home that I realized that she was in the season of her life, which I would call the spring season of her life. I look at her now and see that she is in the winter of her life.
My mom loves to be pampered, so I brush her hair, apply moisturizer to her face, put lipstick and blush on her face and apply lotion to her body. She always responds with words of love and compliments on how good it feels.
During the first few years she was living at the nursing home, I visited her every day. There is a guilt I live with because my life is now so busy taking care of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The babies were little, and I was the only one in our family who could be available to take care of them. I’ve tried to change my schedule to include everyone in my lifestyle.
Although I am in the situation of five generations, I still try to visit my mom as much as possible. I remember her when she was about my age and she was taking care of her grandchildren, so I know she would understand my love for taking care of mine. But her memory has changed so much that she often forgets when she has had visitors.
The roller-coaster of the emotions I have felt over these years is unexplainable. I’m glad to know she is still with us, but it’s sad to watch as her health slowly declines. I have been reading her poems and found one I want to share with you.

The wind and Love
Must it happen to everyone this feeling that I feel?
I’ve found love doesn’t knock at all
It merely lets itself in.
Is love just a word?
Overused at times?
Or is it something more?
Often bitter, bittersweet?
This love is tender and divine
This kind is hard to find.
We kiss the breeze every day
Without our knowing it.
Sometimes fierce, the wind may be,
Then gentle as a Summer’s rain
All kinds of wind exist for all,
But then that’s only wind.
But for us, we’re different from the wind.
Or are we after all?
Love finds itself inside a breeze,
That surrounds us all.
It’s like a whirlwind and we’re engulfed,
Swirling around and around, and yet
Love, Says not a word as
We’re circling to the ground!
– Shirley Preston

And so, dear readers, just please know that I would give just about anything to share one day with my mother again. A day when we could talk on the phone, share books, exercise together and cook together. I’d love nothing more than for her to be able to come to my home again. It was not that many years ago, even though she was living at the nursing home, that she could walk. We could go out to eat or get an ice cream sundae before I had to take her back to her small room.
No one can see inside my head, how the seasons of the wind have changed between my mom and me, and no one could know how much I love her and miss her already. I miss her every day and she is never away from my heart.
I know she feels the same way. Recently as I arrived to see her, she said, “Oh, you’re my Rosie! My first baby, and I still love you so!”
Keep Smiling, Rosie
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