Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Care Packages from G'ma

This series of reprinted posts is a tribute to my mother, Esther Tamara Rukasin Annis, who died on December 5, 2013. 
Fresh posts will resume sometime soon.  For now, I hope you'll spend the time with us as we remember our mom.

I was in Costco last week, shopping for G'ma.  Tissues and toilet paper are two areas in which I can really make a difference in her quality of life.  The pod castle would provide both of them, and I'm sure they are included in her cost of care, but Posh Plus and Kleenex with Aloe are much nicer for my only mother.  The product placement people know what they're doing -  the bulk items are all the way in the back of the store.  I had to walk the gantlet of neatly folded temptations on my way to the Ultra-Soft Charmin.  It was hopeless.  I succumbed immediately.  

The Little Cuter and I love Costco.  She sat on the big orange flat-bed as I pushed her up and down the aisles.... until she went off to college.  We giggled and we investigated and we surmised ("Who could possibly use this many.......") and we always had a good time.  So, she really wasn't surprised when I called her at work and asked if she needed .... or wanted... new underwear and new socks and what color camisoles would be most appreciated and then we went on to the plaid cotton hang-out-pants that had SIR written all over them.  By the time I was back at the toilet paper my cart was filled with love. 

I paid and I left and then it occurred to me that I had used G'ma's debit card.  For everything.  But we never reconciled the bills after our Los Angeles adventure, and the Visa people do want to be paid.  This would have to be discussed. 

I dragged all the goodies into G'ma's apartment and collapsed onto the couch. "What do you have here?" was all she could say before the laughter over took us both.  I'm not sure what was so funny, and neither was she, but there was something going on and we were enjoying it.  Sports bras and tissue boxes were commingling in an ever expanding mess as I tried to pile things atop one another only to be thwarted by less than cohesive plastic wrapping.  "Give me that!" she demanded but I had no idea what she was asking for and when I asked her what she wanted she said she couldn't remember and we laughed some more. 

I packed the medium USPS Priority Mail box and everything fit nicely.  In our continuing efforts to use up the collected  (or collective?) contents of stationary drawers gone by, of knowing that this card will be perfect for someone... someday... I picked one from the Thinking of You stack and gave it to G'ma for some words of endearment.  It's true that I had to remind her that this was a just because gift every so often, but there were many boxes of Puffs and many rolls of toilet paper to collect and store in the single closet she calls her own so I was busy and we were in no rush at all. 

"Now what?" she asked.  I tossed her a sheet of stickers and she went to town.  The envelope and the box were carefully and precisely decorated.  She wasn't complaining that her hands didn't work.  She was sitting back and deciding and then placing, with intention and attention, each and every sticker on the sheet.  When she was finished, we dropped the package at the post office and went on to lunch.

There were emails flooding my in-box once the box arrived:

The camisoles you sent me are the softest camisoles in the history of camisoles. I would like to wear one on myself every day all day and then not even have to take it off to shower. Grand-dog agrees, as I left one on the floor last night and he chose to forgo the bed and sleep on the camisole.
I hope you bought some of these camisoles for yourself. I catch myself rotating in my chair just so I can feel them move. Remember when I couldn’t stop hugging myself in my first magenta cashmere sweater? SAME DEAL.
Who knew Costco had such awesome underthings?
And, from SIR himself:
You didn't have to send me anything!!   They are my favorite!  Oh, and please tell G'ma I loved the card.
That was not an add-on to the emails his sweetie had sent, but a personal thank you... he has a little thing going with G'ma and bizarre cards...... it any wonder I love him so?

The Little Cuter laughed about the stickers on the box, reporting that they kept her amused and smiling all the way up in the elevator. 
Alas, I recycled the box before I could take a picture…
so G'ma and I were forced to return to the scene of the crime and continue to shop.  She has other grandchildren, and one of them, IntrepidCat, was available for a g-chat with her aunt prior to our excursion.  We discussed curves and comfort and style and colors and G'ma and I were well-prepared as she pushed and I directed the cart down the aisles.

Standing in Costco, my mother on my cell phone with my daughter, discussing camisole colors and life in general....... I'm not sure it gets better than this.

I left G'ma the cards and the boxes and a sheet of instructions directing her to choose a blank card, write Happy New Year (Rosh HaShonah begins on Wednesday night) and Love, G'ma and decorate it with stickers.  The boxes were to receive the same adhesive accouterments.

I left them on the couch so that she couldn't take a nap without dealing with them.  Or so I thought.  Turns out that she used them as foot rests and never imagined that they were a task awaiting her attention.  No one reminded her, and she wasn't uncomfortable,  just a bit confused but "Aren't I always just a little confused?" so we did it as our post-prandial activity on Sunday and here are the results

I do love having my mother around. 

(First published September 6, 2010)

1 comment:

  1. Costco is one of my favorite places to shop. And I just have to go down every aisle. Hubby and I remind each other that's how we got a steal on our pool table. It was hidden amongst the automotive aisle (some place we would never think to look for a pool table). We used to go to Costco every Sunday and started calling it our church. We are much more disciplined now (and have kids); so Sundays are spent doing something else. When and if I do go to Costco, I have to at least give myself two hours. It's hard to not spend that much time in there.

    Sending lots of hugs and thinking of you.

    Megan xxx


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