Maybe it’s because she’s always hated reclining chairs.

My mother has impeccable taste, both in her home and on her person. Owning a reclining chair was, for many years, tantamount to wearing sweatpants…

It’s just something she would never do.

I’m not really sure how the (very tasteful) recliner ended up in my parents’ den, but I imagine it had something to do with my mother having loved my father enough to agree to own it…as long as it was to remain in the back room, where no one else would see it.

When I went to visit her yesterday and found her in it, wrapped in a blanket like a small child, the image threw me. She seemed so small. My mother is only about 5’2″, so to be fair, she is small – but her presence, a walking contradiction of grace and will – to me, is large.

It struck me how far she appeared to be from herself…from the strong, non-sweatpant wearing, ever-moving, recliner-loathing woman that she is.

She’s had a cold this week, on top off some ass-kicking (hopefully cancer-kicking) chemo. This path to wellness is not an easy one…and I can’t help but think how hard it has been for her, having had only eight months to adjust to being a widow, before having to adjust to being a widow with cancer.

Life can be fucking cruel.

Still she’ll smile and say, “We had a great run,” as if all of those years of happiness were the result of a bargain she’d made with the devil, and now she’s just paying her dues.

There are bound to be many more days in the recliner (and maybe even some days in sweatpants…you never know) before she rids herself of these tumors – these very rude and unwelcome new roommates…but she will prevail.

I know she will.

Today when I walked into the house just before 8am she was up and ready to cross some things off of her to-do list before she gets whacked with chemo again tomorrow. I am not sure whether she got to those things, but I was encouraged that she was thinking about it.

Mom has always hated winter, and I imagine she would prefer to just sleep through these next couple of months – to hibernate for the winter and wake up in the Spring like one of her daffodil bulbs. She can’t do that, of course, and so she is fighting…and sometimes that looks like being curled up in a recliner, and that is okay.

We might even give her a pass on the sweatpants, too.

She is going to get to the other side of this…and when that garden that she has so lovingly planted and carefully tended for all these years comes back into bloom,

So will she.

mom in garden

 

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