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Being Useful

Scan 1In our family being valued was synonymous with being loved…so you can imagine the frustration we feel at a life without quantifiable purpose.

Mother, in particular, chafes at her enforced inactivity.

She has always been a genuine asset to our quality of life.  Active in the life of her five children—Camp Fire Girls, the Boys Scouts and the PTA;  a force for good in the life of her community—raising funds for Children’s Hospital, public libraries and the University of Washington.

Yesterday as I left Assisted Living, I mentioned that I needed to go home to do the dishes.

“I can help,” she ventured.  “Can I come home with you and help?”  She asked twice.

Of course, I was overcome by guilt and nearly took her up on it.  But I just as quickly realized that I have to bring activities to her not take her away from the security of Assisted Living.  Fortunately the staff was organizing a walk but still—a chore would have been more welcome.

So today I brought huckleberries for her to help me hull.  It’s a wicked job—removing filament thin stems off tiny berries—but she excels at it. Plus she gets to eat the berries.

I’d like to think that the painting offers a chance to focus her energy.  I hope so…

By the way,  I was truly humbled today…I painted with mom. 

She is SO much better than I.

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