Living

Mondays with Mom: Outing

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Last Tuesday, another miracle happened at Mom’s house. We managed to convince her to go on an outing. It was the first time she’s been in the van and on the road in almost 11 months. She loved seeing all the green fields and beautiful flowers, but the best part was watching Dad.

He could hardly contain his excitement. He brought the van to the house and I carefully arranged Mom in the front seat. She was scared and nervous; so was I, but I tried to exude confidence. We settled her without too much effort and off we went.

Within two miles of the house, Dad said, “I have missed this. It’s a real treat to have you riding beside me again!” Several times during our adventure, he would ask, “Are you doing okay?’ Mom always replied, “Doing just fine.” We rode through the Clarkesville square and around Mt. Airy, to Trestle Falls (just inside Stephens County) then back home. We were out for about an hour. What a wonderful field trip!

We listened to one of Dad’s CDs as we drove. It had The Carpenters, his favorite recording of “Guantanamera” by the Sandpipers, and one of his favorite songs of all times, “My Cup Runneth Over” by Ed Ames. It was one of those truly special moments you can feel in your bones when he started singing it to her. In case you don’t know the last one, here’s a link.

Sometimes in the mornin’ when shadows are deep
I lie here beside you just watching you sleep

And sometimes I whisper what I’m thinking of
My cup runneth over with love

Sometimes in the evening when you do not see
I study the small things you do constantly
I memorize moments that I’m fondest of
My cup runneth over with love

In only a moment we both will be old
We won’t even notice the world turning cold
And so, in these moments with sunlight above
My cup runneth over with love
My cup runneth over with love
With love

Underneath Dad’s sometimes gruff exterior, he’s a true romantic. This precious man who doesn’t miss a chance to celebrate Mom’s birthday or Valentine’s day or their anniversary with flowers, chocolates, and a card. Singing “My Cup Runneth Over,” he serenaded Mom as we drove down Highway 197. I’ve been so lucky to see his devotion and love towards her expressed in many ways and it’s one of the best things about caregiving for Mom.

Once upon a time, they would each drive separately to Walmart or the grocery store rather than go on an errand together. They lived quite independent lives while Mom was still driving. At least once a week, however, they enjoyed jaunts around the mountains, perhaps spending the day driving to Blue Ridge or on Highway 11 in South Carolina. They loved those outings; leaving just after breakfast, stopping at thrift or antique stores, eating lunch somewhere fun and returning home just before dark.

Dad has limited his outings since Mom became housebound. Unless he’s fishing, he’s never gone for more than a couple of hours. I know he misses their exploring together. Last week on our ride, he beamed at her during the whole drive.

Once home, I was able to get Mom settled back inside and snuggled back into her favorite chair. Dad put the van away and promptly announced that we would do that more often!

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