Posts Tagged ‘retirement’

The Christmas Gift


Posted by Mikie Baker  |  3 Comments »

Why do we go through the rat race this time of year? Running to and fro buying presents for others? To me, the reason is to see the delighted look on someone’s face after opening your gift. Dearly Demented Mom could always make my eyes light up with something unexpected and special. 

Of course, when the dementia kicked in and she became wheelchair-bound, DDM could no longer run to the store to buy presents. Frankly, it was much safer for the rest of you out there when she finally quit driving.

Very Best Friend has taken over the job of making sure I always have something special at Christmas. I can’t tell you how much this only child enjoys the gifts she gives me. I guess that’s why she’s a Very Best Friend instead of a best friend. 

But this year I’ve discovered, though Dearly Demented Mom has parted this earth, she’s again found a way to give me a special gift. I know DDM’s been working on this gift for months, because I’ve already started wearing it. 

You know how some people go crazy over babies? Very Best Friend is like that. She sees a cute baby, gets all excited and practically coo’s at the baby’s worn out mother. “This is simply the most precious child I have ever seen!” If the child is six months or less, the reply usually is a large yawn and a small “Thanks.” 

Babies make me go crazy, too. Of course it’s for a different set of reasons. I remember never sleeping, being unable to eat anything that was hot and not looking up for over 3 years. I’m still not over the terrible two’s. 

Nope. Babies don’t do it for me. Oddly, something else now does – the elderly. I get all atwitter when I see an octogenarian. I delight with glee while meeting a 91-year-old woman who’s still dashing around town with her daughter. 

I know what you’re thinking. “Calm down, Mikie. Lie down on the couch and let’s talk about your issues with not letting your mother go.” I don’t think I have a problem. Now if I decided to date 91-year-old men, I might. Of course, that narrows the field too much. 

So I have decided that I would like to be a companion to the elderly. You know – run errands, take them places, sit with them, and fix meals void of any seasonings.

To that end, I headed out in the car to the Medium City the other day, armed with flyers and business cards. I hit quite a few retirement communities and rehab centers. Christmas abounded everywhere and it really got me in the spirit of the season. 

At one rather fancy retirement community, they were getting ready for a Christmas show. All the little old ladies and men had on their holiday finery. My eyes lit up and I found myself yelling, “Love the sweater! What a cute vest! Did you just get your hair done?” Finally the Manager came over and said, “Ma’am, though I’ve never seen an elder stalker before, I think you might just be one. Would you mind leaving? I think you’re frightening our residents.” 

See, I’m certain she’s been working on me from heaven. So thanks, Mom, for giving me the gift of loving the elderly. It is a present I will treasure the rest of my life.

Merry Christmas, dear readers. I hope you get a special Christmas gift, too.

 Mom’s last Christmas, 2010 in a new gown from Santa and me

Spreading laughter throughout the world…one chuckle at a time.

Mikie Baker