I am honored to have my wonderful friend share her words with us this week. Rosemarie is one of those women that when you meet her, you immediately love her. I think you will enjoy this beautiful piece she wrote.
Unmade beds: Not just a metaphor
Throughout all the years I lived with my mother, she never failed to make her bed. Even on the rare vacations at a hotel, she made her bed “to help the maid,” One of her proudest moments was when I was three and made my bed all by myself.
So now that things have reversed and mom moved to sunny California with me, I check the condition of her bed each morning, not as a punishment but as a barometer.
Let me back up. My mom is the personification of “cleanliness is next to godliness,” and it was a blight to have a daughter that was her opposite. Her baby girl had inherited the infuriating mellow sloppiness of her husband. Over the years, we reached a compromise. When I visited her, my husband dutifully made our bed every morning, and he received her praise.
Nowadays mom lives with us. It is a blessing and a challenge. Every month she adds a new accessory: first, a walker, then a wheelchair, then oxygen 24/7. Most recently, she has days where her memories jumble, and this is the hardest, most heartbreaking of all to watch. For she worries that her sisters never call her, that she angered them somehow. She cries for her mother. How do I tell her that all of these people are gone to heaven, some for many years? Would that be yet another sorrow, and mourning to lose loved ones yet again? Even the globe is juxtaposed, and she asks me to drive her back to a place, long torn down, 2,000 miles away. On those days when the comforter is in a heap, it seems her mind follows suit. Chaos reigns.
Some days are like sunshine. She is happy and childlike, watching the lizards scamper on the porch, and the lovebirds flirting on the railing. On those days, her bed is invariably neat and tidy. Just like all the days of her life when she was strong and happy.
I never know what conditions I will find when I arise. All I can do is make my bed, say a prayer and hope her bed is just as tidy.