July 29, 2022
Momma Mary, our longest and oldest employee, spent her first night at an elderly care facility in Leland on Monday. I arrived at 5:30 p.m. to spend the evening with her and to tuck her into her new bed. She was on the porch and we talked for a moment and then went in for dinner. We sat with several strangers that we got to know through the course of the meal. I spend some time relaying words from the other residents to my Mom as if I was interpreting for her. Then, I got my mother to say a poem called Angela and Carlotta to the ladies, and everyone perked up. We ate peanut butter cake.
After dinner, I walked Mom around the block and went by the Murray’s house with their surf skis well-organized against the garage. Three teenage girls carried a paddle board down Grand Avenue. The walk was beautiful as we stepped into and out of the dappled green shadows and sparkling evening sun. The presence of lakes and a slow moving river was calming to us both. But still, I left with Momma saying she was going to walk M-22 all the way home to Glen Arbor. The thought tickled me. What an excellent 20-mile walk if she could do it.
And that next morning I heard from the staff that she tried three times to make that long trek during the night. That following day, my other five siblings spent time with Momma Mary. She continued to tell my brothers and sister, “I want to be in Glen Arbor. I don’t like Leland.” Steph and I went to dinner that night. And of course, we went to Leland to eat. It felt good to be close to Mom as I ate stuffed whitefish at the Cove. We walked around this idyllic little town for a while. I thought about Momma’s 40-year rivalry with Leland.
“It’s a good town, Momma,” I whispered to myself.