"I am glad to have friends. We go out to eat and do things, but some of my friends are going with men. I had a good man. We had a good life. Now, I don't want all of that (sex). I'm not interested in anything like that." she says.
"I did meet one guy who lives here that liked me," she goes on. "Well now, at first what attracted him was my dog. he really likes her. We talked, but I let him know I am not interested ."
I stopped her there and told her it is alright to be friends. "You can make friends, mom. Be honest and tell them what you want in a relationship. I think there are men out there who have the same desire, to share a friendship."
Afterward, she repeatedly went back to talking about this particular man. At first she was thinking she blew her chances with him, but I could tell our conversation got her thinking about the possibility. She said what she wants is to have someone to go out with to dinner, Dutch treat.
I finally suggested the next time she sees him, maybe she should ask him about that. See if he would like to go out, Dutch treat. All this talk got her spirits up.
Our last two phone conversations were relatively short and then today we talked for more than an hour. Mom just returned to her apartment. She'd done the usual things -- walk the dog a couple of times, sat on the porch swing in front of her complex and watched traffic. Now she was coming back from working on a puzzle in the community room. Said all of the others left to have dinner. she wasn't hungry yet, but didn't want to be sitting there by herself.
Her dilemma was whether to fix something to eat from what was in the pantry and fridge or go to a nearby restaurant where she could sit and do more people watching. I asked her what she had for making a meal at home, so she checked her cupboard and listed off peanut butter, applesauce and some other canned items. I asked if she had bread. She checked, yes a half a loaf. I suggested she have a peanut butter and applesauce sandwich and that made her laugh."That would be interesting'" she chuckled.
"Oh, I have a tomato, I will make a sandwich." I asked if she had cheese for her sandwich. Of course she did and it was Cuba cheese. (My favorite) But in the end she decided to go out to eat, because she felt like she needed to get out for a while.
Not sure what's been on her mind, but she talked a lot about relationships. She has zero tolerance for cheaters and she thinks men cheat more than women. Women. she says, have children to raise and protect. One woman though that cheated on her first husband (they didn't have kids) was one of dad's sisters.
Mom said when her husband asked her why she did it, she said, "Love goes everywhere it is sent. Even if it's up a pigs' ass." I was so surprised, I asked her to repeat the phrase. We both got a laugh out of it. This aunt just had all kinds of personality and could get away with cheating and making a statement like this without losing a lick of respect. Maybe a je ne sais quoi charm.
Mom talked about younger people in her life and how they just don't get what it means to grow old. "Your health deteriorates. Your body and mind changes. No one wants to spend time with you. They talk about old people like it won't ever happen to them. when their time comes it will. Their time is coming." I added, If they are lucky enough to live that long.
She talked about the sadness and dread she felt when she took her aging mother to a doctor's appointment and realized her mom didn't have anything underneath her dress. "I felt so bad. She wasn't like that." I made her aware of what growing old had done to her mother and it wasn't grandma's fault.
She talked about the farm again. How she knows she was moved out of the house for her own good, but she didn't really think it was for her own good. She says she used to pull down the folding stairway and climb up into the attic at night and sleep in the front dormer windows where she could see the end of our street and the main road. I didn't ask her why she would go there, maybe from being afraid when she was alone, I don't know.
She talked about how dad spent his life working on that house. "When I went there to live, they had gas lights and no indoor plumbing. We had an outhouse."
I told her I remember when one Saturday, a big Sears truck pulled in and unloaded new bathroom fixtures -- tub, sink, toilet, faucets, shower head. Dad stood outside, his jaw dropped. Mom had given up on seeing anyone else doing what needed to be done to get a bathroom in that huge house. She went to Sears and bought one.
"I guess I was different about things like that." she laughed.
She talks often about another place in town where she originally wanted to go -- move to. It was near the grocery store. She concludes God wanted her in this place instead. I explained, God probably wanted her to live next to the church where she can worship and the food program is also run from there where she gets free food each month. That drew a big laugh from her. I will have to tell my pastor you said that. Probably something she WILL remember.
It was getting late, so I suggested she go out to dinner, enjoy the outing and I would call her tomorrow (today). She let me know how much my calling and our conversations mean to her. I told her they mean a lot to me,too. She said don't spend all of you money on phone calls. I told her we have a plan (the simplest way to tell her I am not spending money on her calls.) She said she was relieved about that and looked forward to talking again.
Goodnight, I love you, Mom. I love you too, dear.