Before – Now

Before the pandemic, she’d stop at Shoppers or Aldi’s on her way home from daily Mass at St. James. She’s eat out a few times a month with friends from church. The Friday Night Fish Fry was a favorite at the Knights of Columbus.

Now every Sunday, I call to get her grocery list. Usually it includes two bananas, peach yogurt, chicken thighs, frozen vegetables, a loaf of rye bread and an ice cream treat. She still reads the Food section of Wednesday’s paper and will add any good bargains. Carrying her credit card in my wallet, I stop at Safeway and then personally deliver the bag of groceries to her condo.

Before the pandemic, she attended daily Mass in person. Afterwards she’d stand outside the large church door entance and chat with her friends.

Now she sits alone in her living watching daily Mass from the Vatican broadcast on WETN cable TV.

Before the pandemic, she played cards with 3 girlfriends on Mondays. They played hand and foot for hours. Midway, they stopped for a lunch break. Each brought something to share potluck style.

Now each Thursday, I pick up carryout and bring it over for dinner. We rotate between our favorites – Chinese food from Peking Pavilliion or Crab soup from Dogfish or chicken and rice from Moby Dicks. After we eat, we play two-handed pinochle. We play multiple hands, until one of us scores 100 points. Last week, the cards fell her way and it took only three hands for her to beat me. I keep a tally. Overall, I’m winning, 21 games to 16.

Before the pandemic, I’d call at least once a week to say hi and catch up on the phone. I’d stop by for a visit when I had time. Maybe a silver lining to this past year is it nudged me into a regular routine to make time and my mom and I are both better for it.

My mom celebrating
her May, 2020 birthday.

9 thoughts on “Before – Now

  1. Orval Jewett says:

    This is such a beautiful routine. I’m so glad you have each other in these difficult times. She sounds like such a lovely person.


  2. Ms Victor Reads says:

    It is wonderful how you have been able to grow your relationship with your mom- starting new routines and sharing old favorites. I am so glad you have been able to keep seeing her! I love your structure here.


  3. franmcveigh says:

    I am curious about two handed pinochle. We have pictures from a family cruise two years ago where we were playing hand and foot every day on an outside deck. Loved your structure. Cannot wait to see the routines of the future!


  4. margaretsmn says:

    I love how this form shows how drastically life has changed for both you and your mother. I’m glad you’ve had this time with her.


  5. Fran McCrackin says:

    Food is important! You start with food and later get to church and friendly competition. Through you Before and Now piece we learn gradually about your mom and also about you, too 🙂 This is a lovely piece at any time, and also a valuable addition to the “Covid stories” I want us all to remember. And while I feel as if I know your mom a bit, I realized I had never even seen a photo of her, so I’m so glad you included that!


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