Pistol packin’ mama…


Yesterday morning as Mary Alice and I made our way back to her bedroom, from the bathroom, I began to sing the old 40’s standard “Pistol Packin’ Mama” to help put her at ease while she got dressed. On most mornings I hum a variation of the “Odd Couple” theme song or some other jazzy tune because in her former life, she loved to dance. But yesterday as I began to sing, she gave me a smile and began to happily sing along, essentially telling me we were going to have a good day.

And in fact, we had a very good day at that.

But at the end of this month, my good days with Mary Alice will come to an end. Her family is moving across town; thirty minutes away, which on paper doesn’t look so bad. But when considering the harsh winters we’ve endured the past few years, in addition to travel time to and from, winter weather advisories school delays, et cetera, et cetera…all added together and conspired against me.

Monday afternoon her daughter Karen and I weighed the pros and cons of my continuing and came to the same conclusions. “I never imagined everything that would change as the result of our moving” she told me. “I totally understand and I wish we could have figured this out, but I’m so worried I’ll be late arriving forcing you to be late and or any other number of scenarios that could crop up”. I replied. Then we both sat there trying our best not to cry at the mutual decision, we never wanted to make. 

So moving forward I’ll try to cherish  Mary Alice a little more by  enjoying our horrible singing, catch playing, rosary praying days for a few more weeks. Then I’ll bid her a fond farewell with a laugh and a horribly sung 40’s standard, “Pistol Packin’ Mama, lay your pistol down.”


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