I've come to love my mother more and deeper since this second lockdown with Covid-19 over the last eight months. Yes, absence makes the heart grow fonder - but/ and - out of sight, out of mind, no?
We haven’t had the closest relationship since before I was born - if you get my drift - so the landscape of our relationship has been dotted with many boulders of …well…let’s just say, I love my mom more as time passes.
However, Skype. Zoom, and Whatever’s Next are not not satisfying tools for intimate communication, following as they do, the time honoured reality of the technical version of Potato Chip Words. That is - noisy with no nutrition. Ugh.
The Anti-Curmudgeons will argue with me and say it’s better than nothing. But the ‘nothing’ that holds imagination firmly in your recall at least has a 3-dimensional emotional sound system in your reality. Pﬀft. Don’t get me started on the perils of ‘convenient idiocy’.
But this is about my mother, aﬀectionately referred to as, The Trudester’. She is a good example of someone without a clue about technology who happily grasps that convenience. To her, she is talking to me ‘on television’; which is of course, the nursing floor iPad. She will be having her coﬀee and to play around she’ll oﬀer me a sip along with her afternoon snack.
“Here, have a bite,” she’ll say as she brings the cookie to my lips on screen, laughing in her jolly way.
My mother has a terrific sense of humour regarding all this Covid Nonsense. (Hey. Health Authorities of the World: how about some scientific information which you never seem to report, as in, the number of people who are actually sick with Covid instead of just the numbers of cases in Covid? Science, again: 90% of people recover, conceivably because people do what they should always have been doing: especially since before the Pandemic: washing their hands and keeping healthy. That’s the consensus of the three doctor friends in my circle - two of them having worked with immunology.
Pandemic Fatigued. Meet Pandemic Angry. But I digress.
Back to our Skype Sundays. She says something.
I ask her to repeat what she just said.
She stares at me, a smile curling at her lips and says, “I forgot,” before laughing out loud again.
Today, her hair is in such crazy disarray I simply have to take a photo of her. No hairdressers in lockdown for the Lady Clairol set.
“I’m ugly,” she says.
“No, your beautiful,” I correct.
She is looking at the huge, 4 X 3 foot Birthday Card collage I had made for her 90th birthday, months before. I am always surprised to see how delighted she is by it. It is filled with every photo I could find of her life through her nine decades. I had a lot of fun creating it.
“That’s really something, Mar,’ she says today.
Compliments are not something she has done a lot of in our 65 years together, so I am touched.
She’s smiling at a photo I took of her and my dad sitting on the chesterfield on Christmas, l971. His hands are wrapped around her stomach as if he is holding a bowling ball. I’ve never figured that one out.
“My little Ukrainian doesn’t have to put both his hands on me,” as she peers closer at the image, “good thing I closed my legs.”
Yes, Trudy, good thing indeed.