“i had a good time today”

“I had a good time today.”

I love simple words like this coming from my inspiring 93-year old mom, as I say goodbye at the end of a long afternoon we spent together.  We just hung out, “took a sun bath” as she calls it (actually, I was in the shade) and went to the Activities Room, making door hanger sunflower decorations.

Seated: Anna Meenan (MJ’s niece), Vi Valicenti (Mt. Lebanon Class of 1937 and MJ’s mom). Back row: Shari Valicenti (MJ’s cousin) and her daughter Dani Valicenti.

I have mixed feelings watching my mom in her assisted living facility. I know that her ability to plan, and forego luxury, that has enabled her to now live in an environment that is beautiful and supportive. It is a good thing.

Through good and bad days, and even saying goodbye to new friends, the human spirit wants to soar. It wants to experience joy and to “have a good time today.” Yesterday we reminisced about one of mom’s friends who passed away suddenly last summer, and spoke of a new friend who was recently moved to a higher care level.  Those losses are hard, but at least we can share the stories, try to process the ever-changing landscape and still find good in the day, enjoying the garden and the sun.

Her last few years have allowed her to express her vulnerable side, and to be thankful for all the little things.  I really can’t express how wonderful it is to share it with her, to help her motor through the tough days, and encourage her spirit to find things to smile and laugh about.

We all want the same things.  To see beauty and feel love.  The shapes change and the pace surely changes, but the essentials of life are pretty simple.  Makes you wonder why we make them so complicated at times, doesn’t it?

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