Monday, October 12, 2015

Never Say Never

I never imagined I'd buy an adult coloring book. I certainly never imagined using one. But I did both. My mother is in a rehabilitation facility in Houston. She's bored between physical therapy, activities, meals, medications, and rounds, so I bought her a coloring book, a box of crayons, and colored pencils. Sorry. I bought her an adult coloring book. No, she didn't cotton to it either, until she saw the word "adult." Then it was "Let's color!" 

Right off the bat she was, "You'll be better at it than me." It didn't take much convincing before she was off and coloring. Right off the bat she complained, "Your green is darker than mine." And then it was, "You're using brown for your branches. I'm using green!" I gave her the brown and she held it in her left hand while she colored with her right hand! Remember hogging the crayon? Just like kids, we were! Yes, I mis-colored. I went outside the lines. More importantly, Mama forgot about her arthritic fingers, her swollen knee, her aches and pains . . . I had to tell her when it was time for a break, but not before we colored everything on the page except for the little fairy in the bird bath. My little mama even colored the water droplets! 

When I visited yesterday, I noticed her Barnes & Noble bag propped against the wall, next to her bed. Not on the desk or dresser. Oh. She has a new pencil, a new green pencil sharpener, and a large pocket calendar. "They're always asking what day it is!" So, yes, I finally found my mother. We've visited for three days in a row. I took today day off, but we had a long phone chat, and we're both happy. There's tomorrow, the day after that, and JC will be with me on Thursday. 

I'm at least three days behind with mail replies, but I signed up for another go at an envelope exchange. They're fun! Pain wants to ruin things. All the driving and cooking  I've been doing caused a major flare-up along my spine, shoulder, and arm. Mama wants better food than she's getting. They have the nerve to serve her white bread. She don't eat not stinking white bread! (grin) No, she doesn't know who Al Pacino is. I forgot to order my shoe inserts, so the short leg is upset and complaining of neglect. Aging body parts can act like children too. Knowing there are better days ahead keeps me from crawling into bed, and drawing the covers over my head. No, it doesn't help my pain, but it sure occupies my mind. I try imagine it's like lying in the womb--floating in an amniotic sea of comfort as I concentrate on a distant heartbeat. Sometimes it works quicker/better than any generic pain pill. 

I don't draw well when I don't feel well, but I try not to let it stop me. Insomnia got the better of me last night, but I dug out a stash of postcards, my lap desk, and a favorite pencil, and got busy. Thank God, I do, for erasers! My markers seeped through, but they gave the message side a bit of character. My little drawing took me back to girlhood, when my sister and I tied soup cans together with string, and tried to communicate. It took us a good while to realize it worked only because we stood next to each other.  These two are almost as baffled as we were. Ah, youth! 

All totaled, six pieces of mail await their flight. The stamps are their boarding passes. If I write at all tonight, it will be with a keyboard mounted atop two fluffy pillows. Where there's a will, there's a way.

Alex visited today. I gave him and his sister a subscription to Highlights Magazine for Christmas last year. He drew an awesome picture titled, "The Sea." He drew an awesome colorful under water scene. I wish I'd photographed it, but I promise to share it if it's published. Alex is submitting his drawing! And . . . Drumroll, drumroll, drumroll! There's an ad for a stamp collecting kit on the back of this month's issue. Anna, in England got him and his sister, Fatima, interested in stamp collecting! They have their own albums. Alex's drawing is his first 8 1/2 x 11 mail, so his mom bought manila envelopes. He thought all envelopes are white and doesn't know how much postage it will take to get his drawing to Highlights. He thought he'd have to use some of Miss Anna's stamps, so naturally he was rather reluctant at the thought of having to sacrifice part of his collection. We had another lesson in Mail 101. Thank you, Miss Anna.

Realizing my ego can stand another lesson in never saying never, means I can imagine my mama writing a letter. She misses her neighbors and friends from church, so won't they be surprised if she can at least send them a hello card. I've taken enough photos of her that I can print some to share with her friends. I'll be packing a mail bag to take with me when I visit soon enough. Physical Therapy has been good to her. Mail is good therapy for me, so . . . 

Never say never. Keep writing letters! Write on!


  1. Excellent post. I'm so happy that your mom got into the coloring. It's so therapeutic to let go and let ourselves play and be creative. By the way, I received your card today. Thank you. I love the envelope.

    1. I'm grateful to everyone who left a positive comment about the rewards of coloring in adult coloring books. You were one of the people who sold me on the idea. So thanks! She enjoys it.

      I finally used a box of colored pencils that have collected dust for over a year. I don't have a coloring book but I enjoy coloring my own drawings. When I do, time flies! I zone out, always have.

      I'm glad to hear you like the envelope. :)

  2. I'm glad to see your dear lil mama getting on so well . Sorry you are living with stiffness , soreness and pain . I hate to hear of someone living with pain . I'm so glad your mama loved that coloring book .I think that was very good for her and you are a good daughter . I think the letter writing is a good idea for her she will probably love it . Well good wishes and good thoughts and take care .

    1. Aww, gee, she really is. She colors, does word search puzzles, talks on the phone a lot, and has lots of visits from other patients. I no longer have to visit every day. :)

      JC was home this week and she got a kick out of visits with him. He made her one of his special smoothies and she's still talking about it.

      I still have not found the lovely card you sent for her. I tucked it away and forgot where. I'll find it! Thanks for you kindnesses.

  3. lovely that you have given your mother a new thing to enjoy
    a sort of meditation as well as expression
    lovely to see your artful letters ready to go

    thank you for the mushroom article, i did enjoy it!

    1. She's enjoying that coloring book! Several guests have been allowed to color a single page. LOL. I never imagined my mother coloring. :) May wonders never cease.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the article. :)