“Well, we’re not gonna’ quit.” These are the words my mom responded with after having another DNR (do not resuscitate) conversation upon her recent admission to the hospital. She spent last Friday to Tuesday in the hospital due to some bleeding. It was suspected that the cause of the bleeding is another spot of melanoma near her colon and intestine; that theory has since been dismissed. Whew!
She repeated this sentiment several times while in the hospital, and since being released. And she’s not gonna quit. After a much-anticipated trip home, she took a nap, showered, and was ready to go to the polls. Jenny and I drove her to the American Legion in West Point, requested curbside voting (to which the pollsters were very accommodating!), made a trip to “The Mall” (Mom’s name for the Dollar General store in West Point), then returned to “Grandma’s Store” (the Corner Tap) and had some wine. She’s not gonna’ quit.
And we are not gonna’ quit. We are not gonna’ quit being so damn proud of this woman we get to call Mom. We’re not gonna quit being there for her. We are not gonna’ quit supporting Dad, who is equally as strong and amazing. We are not gonna’ quit telling Dad what a role model he is for our children and grandchildren. He is the model of what it is to be a husband: caring, patient, tender, and gentle. Always has been. Our mom is the center of his universe. We won the parent lottery.
We’re not gonna quit keeping Grandma’s Store up and running. This is made easy with 39 years in business to lean on. It is made easy by the amazing Patricia, a dedicated employee who goes far above and beyond what is asked of her. It is made easy by the patrons who continue to show unwavering support. It is made easy by my brother, Ross, and sister, Katie, who have taken a deep dive into the bookwork. We’re not gonna’ quit gathering at Grandma’s Store, which serves as a safe haven, a game room, and a place large enough to accommodate all of us. 🙂
We’re not gonna quit making Mom and Dad’s home a place where they can stay. From fixing a dryer vent that has been clogged for some time, to assisting with laundry and cleaning, to installing hand rails for easier access, we’re not gonna’ quit. These are labors of love. We’re not gonna’ quit appreciating everything that Ross is doing. Every. Single. Day. We are not gonna quit.
We’re not gonna quit enjoying visits from childhood best friends. My best childhood/lifelong friend, Amy Lampe Mills, showed up on Thursday night with her mom, JoAnn, to visit with Mom. They missed the chance to see Mom, but we had a lovely visit! It was great to tell JoAnn that the soup she brought earlier in the week was gobbled up early Wednesday morning – NOT a typical time for Mom to be awake! Katie’s best childhood/lifelong friend, Dawn Klesner Krabill, showed up on Saturday afternoon and was so patient as we shuffled around between the tavern downstairs, and trips upstairs to check in on Mom. Dawn was fortunate enough to get a hug and a visit with Mom Saturday evening.
We’re not going to quit absorbing the love and wisdom of others. Last night and this morning, we were treated to both with our aunt and uncle, Jane and Greg Zimmerman. Their mere presence puts a person at ease. They encompass the definition of wholesome; they are filled with both love and with wisdom.
We’re not gonna’ quit seeking, maintaining, and strengthening connections with others. We’re not gonna’ quit keeping love at the center of everything.