My Mother Will Be 80 Years Old This Week


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My Mother Will Be 80 Years Old This Week

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My mother will have her eightieth birthday this Sunday. She is not likely to share her story here. She has a computer and uses the Internet. However, she usually only looks at other people’s posts on Facebook and does not use Twitter at all. I will therefore tell some of her story myself.
My mother has been stuck in her house for nearly a year now. She lives only a mile or two from each of us, so my sister and I get her groceries for her so she does not risk exposure to the virus. My mother was resistant to this for a while, from a combination of independence, a disinclination to impose on others, and a plain desire to get out of the house.
My mother probably has not gotten a hug from anyone in nearly a year. We call her nearly every day, and we do visit with her on patio, but we always keep our distance. As much as she would like to see people more, she does not want to break social distancing. In her view, she has stuck with it this long and does not want to waste that effort.
When I talk to my mother, she often expresses boredom. She reads, works on puzzles, watches television, and calls family (although she does not want to bother people). The other day I half-jokingly suggested that she spend some time writing her memoirs. It would be a gift for her children and grandchildren to record her life experiences. My mother has started writing several pages a day. She writes long-hand in a notepad, then types up what she wrote on her computer. I was amused when she told me this, because I have not written that way in more than thirty years, and younger generations likely could not imagine doing it this way.
My mother made one of her rare trips outside the house last week. She was able to navigate the website and get herself an appointment for a COVID vaccination. I was rather proud of her for persistently navigating a website that I found confusing and difficult to use. Her persistence in seeking a vaccination speaks to her eagerness to get life back to normal.

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This item was submitted on February 4, 2021 by Chris Bradley using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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