View from the Mountains: Change is painful, even when necessary 

Published 12:09 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2016

One thing I have seen at Brookdale Littleton is that as you age, change is difficult.

Even if the activities schedule for the week is changed by 15 minutes, residents won’t show up. And you know what? Way back when I was taking care of my sweet mother in an assisted living skilled facility, I really did not fully understand. Actually, with four children to raise, change was the norm for me.

As I began writing this column, a memory popped up that I would like to share with you.

One day, as I was trying to talk with my mother about her tiny kitchen — this was in March 1996, to be exact — this is exactly what happened:

There was this cooking pot. I wish you could have seen it. It seemed as though this pot that had sat on my mother’s stove top had been around as long as I had been around.

“Mother, let’s pitch this pot. You have lovely, non-stick cookware with sturdy handles,” I said.

Silence.

“Mother, how old is this pot, anyway?” I asked.

Silence

“Mother, I am just afraid you are gonna get seriously burned if this pot pivots too far and pours whatever is cooking down your front,” I continued.

Silence.

“Mother, how ‘bout it? Can I toss it out?”

Silence.

“Mother, why do you need to use it at all?”

Silence, but then, “Your dad likes soup for lunch,” she responded.

“Mother, so why won’t one of your new heavy medal pots heat the soup for him?” I asked.

No longer silent.

“Oh no, the soup would never taste the same,” she said.

“Mother, but the handle on this pot is hanging on for dear life by one screw. And the pot looks like a car rolled over it. It is just not safe to use, OK?”

Silence.

“Mother, do you remember that daddy now eats his soup in the nursing home, remember?”

Silence

“Mother, do you ever heat anything for yourself now?”

“No,” she said quietly, “Just water for coffee.”

Now, I knew she cooked nothing but she was my precious mama and all I wanted was her happiness and peace.

I bent and smoothed her bed sheets and thinning white hair. Then I opened the window blinds to welcome sunshine into the room.

She closed her light blue eyes. She seemed both happy and at peace. I could not believe the love I felt for her.

Bending close to her face, I whispered, “Mother, don’t you worry. I would never throw your pot away.”

Change is so painful.

The view from the mountains is wondrous.