Thursday, December 14, 2006

Taking Care of Mama

.Joared, at Along the Way, Menial Tasks And Warm Feelings and Joy at Joy of Six, Ho- Ho... Humbug recently wrote about having to do the tasks their husbands used to do after their deaths, and it made me think of my Dad. He was 20 years older than my mother, and in the natural course of things he knew that he would die before she would. He also knew that my brother Forrest would be doing many of the tasks my Dad had done.

One of the things Daddy did was keep track of where things were. My mother can never remember where she puts things, although she often puts them in the same place. She thinks she's out, buys more, and when she goes to put the new can of beans away, there are three or fout others. For years after he died, Mama would open a cupboard and find a note that said something like, "Now, Virginia, the olives are in the cupboard in the den. You always look for them here and you always put them there."

Forrest would go to do some task he hadn't done before, and at the repair site he would find a note from our Dad telling him where the fuses were kept or the fastest way to unclog the garbage disposal after Mama put potato peels down it one more time.

Forrest tells me he probably hasn't found the last of them; he expects that even after 23 years, one day he will go to repair something that hasn't needed it in all this time, and there will be another note. Daddy, still taking care of Mama.

15 comments:

Tabor said...

This is so sweetly sad, the fact that he still watches over everyone.

Anvilcloud said...

Now that was a very thoughtful man.

JF, scientist said...

That is just beautiful.

Ally Bean said...

That's so lovely to think that someone cared that much to plan ahead like that.

Anonymous said...

My Dad's been gone for 15 years and I dearly wish he'd left some notes about fixing things around Mother's house! He knew how, but I don't! I've learned them the hard way.

ron southern

Py Korry said...

That's pretty funny when you think of it. I guess opposites do attract.

Tabor said...

Oh, I forgot to add that I was wrong and it probably WAS a female as it was the largest I had every seen...but maybe because it was the closest also for such a good time. (Ooops, I am talking about the bald eagle...stream of consciousness thing going on here.)

Bruno said...

And I'll bet you the handwriting on those notes were neat, un-hurried, and brought back GOOD memories, didn't they? Kind of a shame, when compared to todays' hurry-up-and-wait lifestyles...

Joy Des Jardins said...

That is one of the sweetest things I've ever heard J. I love your parents' note system. I surely could have used it. I've left notes for my husband in the past when I've had to be out of town or something. That was mostly to reassure me that he wouldn't burn the house down or something.

Starting to see some light...repairs are in the works, and I even wrapped a bunch of presents yesterday. Thanks for the very nice mention J. Hugs, Joy

joared said...

Your Dad had the right idea. We should all take note and do that sort of thing for each other since we don't always know who will go first.

still standing said...

Now that was definitely a good note to go out on.
Inspiring.

KerrdeLune said...

I loved reading this and it sounds so much like my dad. He has been gone for years, and we are still finding his little notes and instructions here and there.

Ginnie said...

My son wrote a poem about his dad's workshop (I posted it back on Aug. 10th) entitled "Know Your Mess" and the last lines are:

"It takes a man years to know his mess, Where all his tools lie, more or less.
My father’s work shop, lots of space, and every tool, he knows it’s place.”

Reminds me of your blog...Dick has been gone 16 years now but I still find what I need in exactly the place that he had for it.

moe lauher said...

A wonderful story!

Chancy said...

I love this post and I also love your Dad and brother Forrest.

Such kind patient souls.