You Tell Stories
June 5, 2015
The Bath
July 6, 2017

She Never Thought it Would be Me

Mom in the Car Wash

After the nurses expected me to give my mother a bed bath in the hospital I graduated to, “life before your eyes,” a bath at home. Oh my gosh!  I have to get it just right with the water temperature, anticipating her fears because it's me that has to lift her in and out of the tub, apply the skin lotion, and dress her just right.

She never thought it would be me.

Giving mom a bath has become an event that has a language we share. We have found the balance and the counter balance, the yin and the yang. It sounds something like this:

“Good Morning Mom.”

“Good Morning.”

“Just to let you know we have to wash the car today.”

“Really, why?”

“Because the car needs to be cleaned, scrubbed, polished, and waxed.  The tires need to be soaked and we can check the oil and change it if necessary.”

“You are so silly. Okay. Let’s go!”

She never thought it would be me.

This all started because during a previous trip to the tub she told me she felt like an “old car,” with the implication that this was a chore like going to a car wash, but instead we made it fun. And we all know that time flies when you’re all having fun.

What started out as water in a tub, a washcloth, some soap, and Mom feeling uncomfortable because she could no longer do this on her own, has turned out to be the luxury of a bubble bath with soft bristle brushes and some light jazz. Mom likes washing the car now and she looks forward to it.

Being a man, her son, as well as the youngest of three siblings, I never thought it would be me taking mom to the Car Wash. After the last bath, Mom looked at me smiling in her cat-like way, eyes squinting with laughter. I asked “Is everything okay?” She replied, “I never thought you would be the one to give me a bath.”  I replied, “I love you too, mom.”

She never thought it would be me. I never thought it would be me.

Mendon T. Cry

2012 July nine

Sacred language: The sacred language is typically vested with a solemnity and dignity that the vernacular lacks.

Communication is the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behavior.

Derived from the Latin word "communis", meaning to share. Communication requires that the communicating parties share an area of communicative commonality.

The communication process is complete once the receiver has understood the message of the sender