Being with Momma in the hospital has been quite the lesson. Lessons in grace, lessons in living and lessons in love. We’ve always teased that my mother never met a stranger. It was embarrassing at times in years past as she exuberantly danced through life without all the presumptions of appearing foolish or awkward. Now it’s just refreshing and worth asking: When did I start to feel that way?
Her free spirit and love of life first embarrassed me at 13, when we were at the beach with extended family. Eating lunch at a Hardees in Georgetown, my mother and Aunt Dot decided to have a picnic on the sidewalk. It was 98 degrees, but cousin Pam and I opted to eat in the car rather than be seen with our maternal crazies.
Later in life, Mother would talk to everyone she met. In the doctors office waiting room, the bank lines or someone just passing by her table. She shared about our marriages, our children and grandchildren, our careers and sometimes our hopes and dreams.
Mother was so proud of our accomplishments – whether it was Tyler’s baseball scholarship or Jessi’s gift of mothering. But she was also very interested in the people around her.
As evidenced by these hospital antics:
- The ambulance driver became an instant friend on the first trip, and he was almost excited to see her on the second trip.
- The cafeteria food delivery woman became the subject of praise from mother about her beautiful hair…only for the woman to smile and reveal her secret…a wig!
- Upon checking into ICU, I was a little frantic until mother quickly turned it around with “look at the five new friends I have!”
Maybe I can learn from her exuberance, her abundant living and stretch my introvert self just a little more in her direction.