Sunday, January 31, 2010

Back in the Garden Again

It's sunny today but freezing cold. In fact below freezing. The water in the birdbath has been turning to ice all day, and I keep refilling it with hot water.

However, my mother doesn't care about the cold. She now has two arms again, since her broken shoulder has healed, and she's been out in the garden all day.

The wheelbarrow she's using is 99% rust and the other 1% is comprised of holes in the rust. I don't know how old it is, but it's been around all the time my parents have lived here - - which is since 1959 - and I don't remember it ever being new. I think perhaps I might buy her a new one for her birthday - though I expect she'd consider it an unwarranted extravagance.

The physiotherapist comes just about every day to give her exercises to help with the shoulder that was broken. She does them with tremendous energy. My mother always has lots of energy: if she can't use it up during the day then she doesn't sleep at night.

She's been through a tough time with the broken shoulder over the past three months - - and I have to say she's put everyone else through one too, as she was probably the worst patient in the history of the whole world ever.

However, now she's the most committed convalescent. One of the exercises she has to do is to lie on the floor and try to put the arm that was broken above her head - - and she really wants to be able to do this, in order to swim backstroke again. She demonstrated this to me last night: she's really not pleased that the arm won't go right above her head.

But after the demonstration, she sprang to her feet like a gymnast, without even thinking about it.

"Mum," I said, "you must be the most supple eighty-five-year-old in the country. Nobody else of your age can get up like that."

"Yes, but I can't get my arm above my head," she grumbled.

This whole episode has made me worried for her future: she's so used to being completely well and very fit, and simply couldn't bear it when she wasn't.

But it's good to see her out in the garden again. Welcome back, Mum.


Anonymous ruth said...

When it was very snowy here I saw birds pecking around the plants at the back of my flat, I think they were getting the snow to melt so they could drink it. Clever, resilient creatures. A bit like your mum.

I know it's good to think ahead and plan but... I've probably said it before or maybe I've only thought it - don't worry about the future for your mum, enjoy today.

PS please remind me to put this into practice for myself...often

4:43 pm  
Blogger Jan Blawat said...

I have a wonderful garden "wagon" that I bought when I couldn't walk very well a couple of years ago. I still can't push a wheelbarrow, but that wagon helps me get all my garden work done. I can even let down the sides and sit on it while I work. I'd really recommend it for your mom, if you can convince her to part with the wheelbarrow. I have a wheelbarrow like that, too. It was my mom's.

6:05 pm  
Blogger Daphne said...

Ruth, you're entirely right of course. And I plan to keep right on reminding you of this.
Jan - that sounds great. I will investigate them - I think one might be an ideal present for my Mum's eighty-sixth birthday in April. Thank you!

6:09 pm  
Blogger Silverback said...

Right, get that old slacker round to my garden asap and she'd better not expect back pay for the time she was off.

At her age she's lucky I even give her a job. Pah.

12:10 am  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

In spite of her senior years and academic prowess, mama needs a few simple lessons in how to manoeuvre a wheelbarrow! You're meant to push them not pull them like a horse in harness!

1:16 pm  

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