Tuesday, July 17, 2012

No One's Being Shortchanged

     In case anyone was worried, after reading my last post, if I my mother was getting her fair due; don't. With parents, as with children, it can seem difficult to share an equal amount of time, affection, and experiences. This is especially true in regards to my interactions with my mother.
     As you may have gathered from some of my past musings, my mother has had many health difficulties over the course of the last several decades. She is now at the point where her need is such that she has to be on supplemental oxygen 24 hours a day 7 days a week. She has mostly recovered from the pneumonia she had, but she is far from a more complete recovery.
     This makes a little adventure like the one I took with my father a few weekends ago virtually impossible. Fortunately, my mother's parents lived far longer than my father's did, so I grew up knowing the homes and area she group in. I even attended the same school system she attended and had some of the same teachers she had. It sometimes seem that where her memories might leave off, mine begin.
     There will be no road trips anywhere in our future. It has been years since that ever could have been a possibility for her. That is a sad fact for me as well. My favorite type of vacation has always involved driving some place fantastic. So, since this type of travel down memory lane is an impossibility, I had to come up with a more personalized trip for us.
     This led me to a fun and rewarding project I have been working on since before last Christmas. I decided to write a sequel to one of my mother's beloved books from her childhood, Marion Holland's No Children, No Pets"." This was a book my mother received as a gift from her Aunt Een back in the late 1950s. It was one of favorite stories featuring a family that inherits an apartment building in Florida, travels down there to sell it, gets involved in a mystery, and ends up staying.
     I decided to first ask my mother if she had ever thought about how the story would continue. She had. I had, too. This was a favorite book from my childhood as well since my mother read it to us every summer break when we were little. Not surprisingly, she and I had different ideas how the story progressed. It was an enlightening conversation. I wrote the first chapters, busily incorporating her ideas into the narrative, as part of her Christmas gift.
     As each holiday has passed this year, I try to make sure that she gets at least one more chapter. I hope to finish the continued story this Christmas, if possible. I finally confessed that when she was in the hospital it through my project and plans into a panic. I wasn't sure if I should do a sloppier rush job, or cling to the faith that she would endure this latest illness as well. So far, so good. We are able to carry on with our extended personal literary trip down our memory lane.

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