Mom And The Pioneer Luncheon

A local church in our area sponsors a monthly luncheon for widows and widowers.  They have a different theme each month, the meat and drinks are provided, and people bring a potluck dish to share.  At the end of the meal, there is always a little program.  Mom discovered these lunches shortly after she began spending her winters with us and she enjoyed them for many years.  Even after she moved to an assisted living facility, a friend would pick her up and take her to the luncheons until Mom finally got too unsteady on her feet and it became just too hard for this friend to take her.

Grandma Loose JuneWhen Mom had to be moved to a nursing home, the church that sponsors the luncheons continued to send Mom their Seniors newsletter and I’ve faithfully read them all to her, sharing the news of each luncheon and the special programs.  She always seems to enjoy hearing what the widows and widowers are doing.

Lately, the doctors have reduced some of Mom’s medications and she has seemed to be more alert.  I discussed the possibility of taking Mom out to attend the July luncheon with her social worker and her nursing team and they all thought it would be a great idea.  So I’ve been talking up this jaunt to Mom for several weeks and she seemed very excited about it.  Since Mom can no longer support any of her weight and is wheelchair bound, I had first made sure that my hubby could help out this past Saturday.

We showed up at the nursing home on Saturday and I was so excited for her.  Mom, on the other hand, was half asleep and looked like the only thing that would excite her was to go back to bed.  Nevertheless, we perservered and managed to get her into the car and over to the church.  Once we got her there and settled at a table, I turned my covered dish over to the ladies who seemed to be in charge and returned to our table to patiently wait for further instructions.  Hubby leaned over the table and whispered, “Look at all these people.  They keep going by with platefuls of dessert.”  So they were!  The lunch had not officially started yet and no prayer had blessed the food but folks were loading up their plates with the good stuff as though someone had announced a “blue light special” at the dessert table.  “Let’ s just wait,” I whispered back to George.  Mom yelled out to noone in particular, “Have you seen Marian yet?”  (Marian was the lady who used to take her to the luncheon.)

Right before the lunch officially started, an elderly lady plopped down beside George, her arms flailing.  “I don’t know what’s the matter with me today.  I’m a little shaky,” she said.  Her program went sailing past George’s nose but he managed to retrieve it and place it down in front of her.  “Could you pour me some of that ice tea?” she asked me, pointing to a pitcher of tea.  There were only flimsy little plastic cups on the table and I wondered how in the world she was going to get such a cup to her lips without baptizing us all.  Out of the corner of my eye, I could see George inching his chair toward the end of the table.  Bless her heart, she managed to get most of the drink into her and we grabbed extra napkins to soak up what spilled.

The rest of lunch was uneventful.  I fixed up a plate of soft foods for Mom and fed them to her.  Since she has very limited eyesight, she is unable to feed herself these days.  I even managed to eat some food myself.  There were still desserts left so I had some fudge but had to dodge the folks who were now filling up containers with food to take back to their homes.  That’s really a nice policy that the church has set up in that after the meal, the attendees are encouraged to load up containers with leftovers that they can take home to eat.  Even our tablemate had produced some containers out of her purse and had me loading them up for her.

Now it was time for any seniors who had dressed as pioneers to go up to the front to have their costumes judged.  “Do you see Marian yet?” Mom asked.  “I don’t think she’s coming, ” I answered.    The costume judging had finished and there now seemed to be a presentation going on.  From what I could gather, they were giving a plaque to the oldest mother who had been present at the previous luncheon.  They had already given out a similar plaque last month but turns out the lady who received it had gotten confused and told them she was 97 when really, she was 79.    They couldn’t exactly ask for the prize back after the mixup was discovered.  Besides, the 79-year-old couldn’t remember where she had put the prize.

After the prize ceremony, our hostess commandeered the projection equipment from the featured guest to show us a 15 minute clip of a Bicentennial wagon train that had come through the area back in 2000.  She started it up and the sound almost blasted us out of our seats.  I quickly put my fingers in my ears and looked around in alarm.  Except for George, no one else seemed to be in any discomfort.  “Sheesh, are they all deaf?” I wondered and then I thought, “Well, maybe they are because if they aren’t, they will be after this video.”  I actually considered leaving the room, if was that painful but toughed it out, keeping my fingers firmly in my ears the entire time.

Finally, it was time for the featured guest to perform a patriotic medley of songs.  Unfortunately, his equipment no longer was working.  He had had it all cued up before the lunch started because we had watched him do it.  However, when the hostess had switched things around for the video clip, something went haywire and now his computer was absolutely failing to boot up and his accompaniment was all digitally mixed on the computer.  George went up and tried to help him but, not being familiar with the church’s sound and projection system, wasn’t a lot of help although he DID actually get the computer to reboot.  It must have had very little memory because we watched the little hourglass for almost 15 minutes and it still hadn’t done anything.  Some elder prankster in the group cracked, “He must be running Vista.”  By this time, the luncheon was running overtime by a half hour and the lady that had been sitting next to us had long since left, muttering dire predictions of a thunderstorm that was to start precisely at 3 p.m.  In desperation, the guest tenor did the only thing he could do…..he started singing his program acapella.  He needn’t have worried because most of the audience was merrily singing along with him.

We got Mom back to the nursing home about 5 hours after we’d left the house to pick her up.  I wheeled her into the nursing home and thought I’d conclude  her momentous day out by filming her impressions of the luncheon.  “Tell everyone where you went today, Mom!” I said.   She mumbled something but I didn’t catch it.

“What was that?  I didn’t hear what you said.  Tell everyone where you were today, Mom,” I encouraged her.

“At Weight Watchers,” she said.

“Weight Watchers?  No, you weren’t.  You were at the pioneer luncheon.  Don’t you remember?”

“Oh, yes,” she mumbled, already thinking about her afternoon nap.

“It’s going to be a long time before I take Mom to another one of those, ” George said on the way home.

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3 Responses

  1. It was good to see her more or less in action. I’m trying to figure out why she was on her side when the other people were right side up. LOL I’m a novice at such things myself so I would probably have had her standing on her head. In any case, I’m so glad that you were able to get her out for the occasion even if it wasn’t Weight Watchers. LOL She is fortunate to have such a thoughtful daughter.

  2. What a great lady she is and you are, too for being such a good daughter. May the Lord bless you. Thank you for sharing, Dee.

  3. Hi Dee

    Thank you for the update and link to this page. I’m glad you were able to take your mom out and know what a job it was to take my mom somewhere. After we couldn’t take her out anymore I really missed it.

    Tell her and George I said hi and send my love !!

    Dorothy

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