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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What was, was.

This Thanksgiving was my mom's first wedding anniversary without my dad. People say the year of firsts is especially hard, although I suspect the second, third, and fourth, will also suck.

The week leading up to and away from it was like any other at her place. Activities in the atrium, movies after dinner in the club room... 

But Momba wants to sleep til it's time to go down to breakfast, have a nap til lunch, followed by a little snooze before dinner, then turn in early, like a cat. 

The original brisk, no nonsense version of her would have had no patience for this new vague, drifty one. I know she'd bully her up and out and keep her marching from one inane but harmless activity to the next. 

So when I'm in town, I do it for her. 

Downstairs for exercises. 
But Momba's blind and can't see the leader leading. Also, she doesn't give a shit. And even if she could hear or see the movies, she can't see the point of staying awake for them. 

At meals, my mom who once had a world of friends and who entertained often, effortlessly, with charm and aplomb, barely turns her head to speak to the women at her table. 

Thanksgiving dinner: A scoop each of mashed potatoes, green-bean-sludge, sweet potato "souffle'," stuffing and turkey with gravy vomited over all.  
Momba plows through and doesn't even bitch.

Bingo! We could rake in some serious cash here! 
Ok, I admit, even the old Momba wouldn't rejoice over bingo.

But Karaoke in the club room? Oldies and show tunes including songs from shows she was once in?  
I'm kicking some serious ass on Moon River... Momba, nothing.

Later, a guy pounds out  Yiddish folk songs on the piano. My mom's foot is not tapping. She's not even mouthing the words.

Me: (whiny, petulant) But Momba, you were in Yiddish choirs! You loved this crap!

Her: (sigh) What was, was.

Ah! I remember that song. She taught it to me long ago, in Yiddish and English. 'What was, was, and is no more."
Here it is.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

One of the most heartbreaking songs of all time, Amy. My Jewish mom, who played Chopin on the living room piano while I was growing up, was reduced to listening to insipid versions of Christmas Carols in the "memory care" unit. No wonder she refused to come out of her room in the end. What was, was.