Just returned from a week’s visit with Bubba, which is always such a treat. She was so proud to show off her new apartment at the senior living center she relocated to last winter. And, of course it was just lovely, so reflective of her past homes which I find not only attractive, but comforting. Guess that is how it is when you spend time with your mom and you love the relationship you share… I am lucky.
Sometimes I regret that we experienced the normal sort of mother-daughter tension when I was a teen and young adult, good years wasted due to my need to create distance from her. But fortunately that is water over the dam as both of us grew into seasoned adult women. Life is funny how it works out sometimes…
With time to reflect on my visit with Bubba I find myself charmed by all the interesting people I met who are now her companions and friends, sharing regular activities and events with my mother. Bubba’s next door neighbor, Ron, is an amazing man, ironically from the same hometown. They have lots of old memories and stories to share about that chapter of their lives. Ron is an avid reader, and one of his hobbies is wood carving. You should see the grandfather clock he whittled out of a large piece of select wood! How could anyone have such talent?
Then there is Mary Ann, who lives around the corner from Bubba’s apartment. She is a short, spunky, delightful woman with an upbeat sense of humor. Mary Ann and Bubba can spend hours chatting, enjoying their experience of a world filled with optimism and hope. They like to share the view of a lovely lake from mom’s patio on comfortable summer evenings. Mary Ann has an old boyfriend, Jack, who comes to visit regularly. He is part of this vibrant network of socially interactive seniors, laughing, thoughtful, and kind to all. Bubba tells me that Mary Ann and Jack each have a number of children from first marriages, were neighbors for many years, lost their spouses to illness, and have been devoted to each other as a couple ever since, although they did not marry. Sweet story… I enjoyed their conversation about all their children and grandchildren over breakfast. It is nice to hear how some people make the best of what life has to offer despite setback and loss.
Shirley, Marie, and Betty eat most dinners with Bubba. They are characters and look out for each other. Angela just got out of the hospital, but it didn’t stop her from jumping right in as Bubba’s Wii-Bowling partner! They are quite a pair! Eleanor is the card game expert of the crowd, teaching skills to all who are interested and organizing a wide array of activities for the residents. I was taught to play Skip-Bo, and even won a game! And of course there was Bingo, where Bubba met a new couple who had just moved in, Carl and Dolly. Carl has also taken a liking to Wii-Bowling, quickly a “regular” to the group who play on Tuesday afternoon.
We head a lovely violin concert one evening, and listened to a pianist perform a number of old-time favorite waltzes. There was a steady stream of activities that Bubba just didn’t want to miss out on! I had to beg out of one evening just to have some quiet time to relax! Don’t know how she does it all!
Some people choose to live with gusto. Good for them! Who says that aging is all bad?