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CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Mom Comes To Live With Us

Mom had come to live with us. She really enjoyed farm life; I think it reminded her of years ago, when we had lived in New York state. She had learned so much, when we lived in New York: how to bake, to plant a garden and can veggies. She really enjoyed harvest time and spent a lot of hours shelling sweet peas, behind the Tabernacle, in the shade. Now she was learning how to card wool, did it hour on end. She loved the babies, the small children asked her so many questions and she enjoyed teaching them the things she knew. She shared often at our meetings, and also asked for prayers a few times.

After my Mom had been living with us for a few months, she decided to ask me a question about something that had really been bothering her. She asked if there was the possibility of a small, white mouse living in our cabin? We asked, "Why?" So, she said that, many nights she had laid awake and watched one walking around on the ceiling over her bed. We had clear plastic covering the insulation in the cabins, and you could see the pink insulation - she also had an ermine (that was white because it was winter and their coats turn white, then). She was much relieved to hear that it was a possibility...that she wasn't just seeing things. I think we set a trap and caught it.

One night, after a meeting, we rushed home to cook some potatoes (wrapped in aluminum foil) into our Ashley stove; it was our custom to just throw some into the embers in the stove, and in just a few minutes we had baked potatoes. We bought margarine in town and always had some at our cabin. As we had to get up early the next morning, we would eat them as quickly as we could and get into bed. Well, this night, our son Mike popped one into his mouth and out came puffs of ash - he spit the whole thing out... We asked Mom if she would like a potato, and she came out with one of her many "famous" sayings: "No thank you - you can keep your burnt offerings."

Mom had brought a few things with her, when she immigrated into Canada - things for survival, like all of us did. We had turned in our plastic dishes and silverware, etc., but she never felt to (she had her's stored under her bed); it was a good thing, because many years later, when we moved to town, she gave all these things to us. She also had a few bags of hard candy, that she enjoyed sucking on, especially when there was a meal she couldn't eat. She had crocheted an afghan for us Ė my favorite colors, before she moved North. When she arrived, I knew she would be cold, so I told her to use it. When she moved back to Massachusetts, she gave it to us; I now have it (it's purple, pink and yellow).

She was in good health for the first year on the farm. After a while she had a hard time digesting the fried food, the whole grain breads and cereals. She began to lose weight, refusing to eat a lot of the things at the Tabernacle. It got to the place, where we had to speak to some of the elders about the problem - they spoke with her. Still, she couldn't eat the food. She couldn't keep up with a regular work schedule any longer, and was told to do what she could. They didnít realize that she had a total disability and had retired from work, early. She wasnít one to complain.

One time, Mom had gone to town to shop, and when she came back, she said she had the worse pain in her left arm...the worse she had ever had. We didn't want to make too much of it, but watched her out of the corner of our eye for some time. She continued at her own pace and was happy with us.

Mom had told us that she wasn't taking any medicine since she came to Canada. She didn't say what she had been taking, we didn't know the seriousness of it all. She had only said she had trouble with the "main gland" and some heart trouble.

After a while she was staying in bed more and more; some elders spoke to her; it didn't seem to change things. A couple who came from Oregon, and were now living on the farm visited with her. They said they didn't function as elders at this assembly, but they had, back in the States; they encouraged her, prayed for her - they were very kind. Still, she continued to go downhill.

One morning she didn't respond when I went to wake her. I called the nurse and then some of the elders. Everybody prayed for her, that morning, at the Tabernacle; all the elders came to our cabin to pray for her. The nurse didn't think she had a heart attack, but she was in a coma. The nurse bathed her and then we took her to the hospital in a friend's car. (Someone was concerned that she might die on the farm - and that might be a problem, where we had one die just a few months earlier.)

The doctor asked us what kind of medication she was on and we said she used to take something for those two health problems, but hadn't taken anything for some time. I guess she went into a coma because she stopped taking medicine - it took a year before it caught up with her.

Joe and I stayed in town a few days, checking to see how she was doing; I had to get back to our children at the farm - Joe would be able to check on her more, when he drove the van in for its regular trips. I think she was in the hospital for a couple of weeks, and then came back to the farm with some medication. She responded very well and it wasn't long before she was doing things around the farm again.

The doctor never told Mom what had happened to her, I think she just stayed on the medication; she didn't have to see the doctor again (then his year's time, up North was over - and he went elsewhere). I don't know why, but there was never any follow-up of any kind.

Mom and I were never close, because of the divorce (I missed my Dad so much, and my step-father was a disaster), and when she became a Christian, we didn't understand. Down inside there was a love for each other, and we always worked hard at it...living together proved to be a turning point for both of us. We learned what each other was really like; we learned to accept each other, just the way we were...and we actually came to love each other, unconditionally. It was a beautiful working of God and something that both of us were extremely thankful for, for the rest of the time we had together; a real relationship was established. If nothing else happened on the farm, that was well-worth it all, for me...I have beautiful memories of Mom.


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Pen Name: Aimee Love


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