I’ve been sick. Sickest I have ever been in my adult life. It made me miss my mother.
Even though husband did an excellent job of making sure I got better there were times while I was sick that I just wished my mother was taking care of me.
When I was a child I was sick a lot with bronchitis and pneumonia. My brother and I slept upstairs and it wasn’t unusual for him to go downstairs in the middle of the night to announce to our parents that I was sick. My father would come up to get me while my mother was making a bed for me on the divan (the sofa of the 1950’s) in the living room so they could monitor me the rest of the night.
In the beginning I was usually too sick to do anything but cough and sleep until the doctor made his house call (yes, I’m that old), left some awful tasting medicine out of his black leather bag and with much fuss, my parents gave me a spoonful. If my fever got out of control my mother would give me these wonderful rubbing alcohol back rubs and then changed the divan to clean, fresh sheets.
By lunchtime my father would walk home from work and have his lunch while my mother went to the grocery store to get the “sick supplies” and then on to the school to pick up my work. The sick supplies usually consisted of new crayons, coloring books, chicken and rice soup and popsicles. Sometimes there would be a little grocery store toy.
Once I began to feel better, I began to get bored. This is when my mother’s caregiving skill would shine. As a housewife of the 1950’s-60’s she had a lot to do during the day whether she had a sick child at home or not. She still had to cook 3 meals everyday for the rest of the family, do the laundry, ironing, dusting and all the other chores on her daily list. On top of her routine, when I was home sick, she spent a lot of time with me.
She would sit in a chair next to the divan and color with me. She’d have me pick a doll and she would sit and hand sew a new outfit for it. My favorite activity was the tea party. She’d get the little demitasse cups and saucers my grandmother gave me and fill them with throat soothing hot tea. Then she’d put white powder sugar icing on regular saltine crackers for our cookies. They tasted like a cone for ice cream and whenever I get to that part of my ice cream it takes me right back to the tea parties.
She never wavered in her sick days attitude. As I got older, I got sick less. Sitting next to me became sitting in the room with me, coloring books became teen magazines, doll clothes became knitting lessons but the chicken soup and the tea parties remained the same.
I miss her just remembering …………