You Just Wait

Through the years I’ve heard people lament that they’ve become their mother, or their father. I’ve seen blogs with clever titles reflecting the humor or chagrin of their realization. They sometimes seem disappointed.

That is far from my thinking because I had and have great parents. Becoming my dad or mom would be a very good thing.


I see my mother once or twice a week, sometimes more. She’s now 87 and “going strong.” Yesterday at the beginning of our visit, mom and I caught up, reviewed the week’s events. She shows me her latest knitting or card making project, tells me the scoop. Mom calls Independent Living home now, and where she lives, there is hardly a dull moment. She tells me about the book she’s reading–there is always a book–and we often trade, talk about our favorites.

Then it was my turn. I’d been feeling low. One of my children left for the summer and it is always difficult, no matter their age. I looked at mom and said, “It’s just hard,” and that’s when it happened. She looked at me, and with a small smile and tears in her eyes, said simply, “I know.” Then she paused and we locked eyes.

And, right then, I realized something. My mother and I were the same, one in the same, and we shared a very specific bond. We both knew and felt the very same, unspoken thing in that one moment. She knows because I’d done it to her. My sister had done it to her. Now it’s being done to me, again, and it hurts. I’d left her, my children left me, but if she survived, so will I. It was love, and hurt, and enduring, and life, and survival in one single moment.

Then, mom abruptly stood up and said, “Oh, I have something for you” and headed for her bathroom. When she came back, she said, “Here, this is for you. I don’t really like the color.”

nail polish_june 2016 (3)What happened next is still something I don’t fully understand, because those who know me know that not only do I dislike pink, I don’t paint my nails. (I’m all over having a frequent pedicure, partly because with age and a bad back, I can scarcely reach my toes and I’m not that old. Yet). Through the years I found that maintaining painted, sculpted fingernails while working in dental hygiene was difficult. Not only that, I’m a gardener, berry picker, and I work in the dirt. These are outdoor hands.

But, what did I do?

I opened that bottle of pink polish and applied a coat to my left thumbnail. And, I love it. I looked at mom, and she me, and we both smiled. She got up again and went to her bathroom, and the next thing I knew, I was leaving with all of the items below. “No, you take this. I’ve got another full bottle of remover, and a full package of the rounds,” mom said. And, “Here, I have more No Chip, you take these.” “Take them, you have fun!” she said.

That’s when I realized this is something mom really enjoys, that having nice nails and making her hands pretty makes her feel good. It’s such a simple thing. Her words have fun stayed with me last night, long after I came home.

nail polish_june 2016 (2)I did just that. I began with the file. I shaped, trimmed, and prepared. I caught myself smiling because after just that much, my outdoor nails looked so much better.

Today, I painted. I found myself enjoying the entire process. I applied two coats of the pink, and one coat of the No Chip. I giggled the entire time trying to hold still and get the polish on my nails instead of my fingers. Patience was never one of my strong points.

They don’t look perfect but I did it, my very own and first manicure in many years. And, I had fun, just like mom. I love the color, the shine, and having newly shaped nails. I smiled over a job well done.

As I set down the bottle I wondered about the name they chose for this color.

nail polish_june 2016 (1)

You Just Wait.

I don’t think I have to. I’ve become mom.

45 thoughts on “You Just Wait

  • This is a lovely piece and one that I related to. Like you, I take pride in and get enjoyment from the parts of me that are my parents. I appreciate the closeness you have maintained with your mom. I moved far away and though we talked every week, visited one another every year, and wrote often, it wasn’t the same as being there with her and for her as you are. I loved this post.

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    • Thank you so much, Aunt Beulah. Your words gave me a huge smile. It’s funny, when I think of where my sister and I are located (geographically, with respect to mom), I recall that it wasn’t planned; it was by accident. Mom lives half an hour south of my sister, and half an hour north of me. The arrangement could not be better. It does provide us each with ample opportunity to visit, and I am grateful for that because you are right, nothing replaces being there. We are fortunate. Thank you for your very kind comments. πŸ™‚

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    • She’s a gem, Ann. She was named after her own mother, Margaret, and it means pearl. Fitting. Yes, I am so glad mom is healthy and that we can talk and share our lives. Dad has been gone 10 years now, and it has been challenging. At this point, both my older sister and I feel grateful that we are connected with our mother. It means a lot. Thank you for commenting. Have a great day!

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  • What a beautiful heartfelt post πŸ™‚
    So much so that I will let it “land” softly into my brain and reread it later , and hopefully then I will be able to write a proper comment πŸ™‚
    Have a beautiful Sunday

    Liked by 1 person

  • The first part of your story reminded me of something similar that happened to me. When our first child was born almost 36 years ago, my parents were there when we brought her home from the hospital. I brought her inside, laid her on the kitchen table, and unwrapped the receiving blanket so I could see this beautiful little infant of mine. I suddenly said to my father as almost an uncontrolled impulse, “I love her. I already love her.” He responded as your mother did, “I know.” And I knew that he meant not simply that he knew I loved my baby, but that he understood that overpowering love that parents feel for their children. That he had felt and still felt that love for me. It was one of the most moving moments of my life—to realize that my parents loved me the way I loved my baby.

    And I also am not one who generally uses nail polish—gardening and clumsiness mean that within a day, everything has chipped!

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    • Oh, Amy, I can barely see right now (which is why I answered your other post first). I read this last night but could not respond. It took my breath away (as did Lulu’s post). It is indescribable how I felt in that moment with mom; so powerful and full and complete, with unquestioning certainty. It just is. It was a silent, full circle, life-affirming moment. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your story about you, your new baby girl, and your father. Priceless. And, THIS is why I love blogging.

      Oh, and I’m laughing at your last comment about polish. After I applied the pink yesterday, I took something out of the oven using oven mitts and, while I thought enough time had gone by, it hadn’t. I now have bumpy, pink nails. πŸ™‚ Guess I’m just not meant for this kind of thing. But, I had fun! Have a great day! Hugs to you. ❀

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      • Thanks, Karen. Like you, I cherish that moment. You don’t get moments like that too often, and I think of it even more often now that my dad is 89 and not in great health.

        My daughters are dismayed by my lack of a proper manicure! Somehow they both inherited some gene from my mother that skipped over me.

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        • The health of our parents sometimes fosters a crystal clear perspective. I have learned to stop and think when something catches my attention; these are the often fleeting moments I write about and which I later realize have a deeper meaning. Do you get to see your dad often? By the end of yesterday, my newly painted pink nails had chipped horribly, so I treated myself and put on a new coat of Wine Not, a pretty maroon polish. πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  • I loved this story from start to finish! What a wonderful connection you share with your mother. While I don’t come from the healthiest and most functional of families and would never want to become my mom, I can also see her strengths and those ways that she can draw the best parts out of me. Your story reminded me of all of her wonderful qualities and the close moments we’ve shared. Thank you for leaving me with a smile!

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    • Hi, Lulu. Thank you so much for your kind comments. It sounds like you have come to a nice place in your relationship with your mother, trying to see the good and her strengths. I love that. In past years, my father could be very difficult, and there were times of estrangement. Even then, I recall trying to think of the good–and there was plenty of that–and I know that to write what you wrote may have been difficult as well. So, I thank you for sharing, and especially that this made you smile. Thanks for stopping by. ❀

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    • Thank you, Miriam. Mom is a sweetheart and has a very gentle soul. To be like her would be a very good thing. I hope I fully achieve that some day. When I first started blogging, I wrote quite a bit about my father. Now, it’s mom’s turn. πŸ™‚ Thank you for your lovely comment. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • You sound like you have inherited many of your mothers gentle qualities. Enjoy writing about her. It’s funny because I woke up thinking I also wanted to write about my mum so you’ve kind of inspired me.

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        • Oh, Miriam, I hardly know what to say. Your comment about me being an inspiration is just about the best compliment I could get. That makes me very happy. I hope you do write about your mum; I’d love to read about the woman who raised you (because you write the way mom would write were she a writer). My sister and I are also like our father, and we call those qualities our tendencies. He was a bit more outspoken than mom…the family would laugh now (dad, while he meant well, sometimes had no tact). They balanced it all, somehow. Looking forward to reading that post. Big hugs to you. ❀

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