Grandma’s Birthday!

Recently, My three boys and I  surprised my mom to help her celebrate her 76th birthday.    Today’s lesson is from my boys.

My mom has never been the picture of health, as I always thought she was old when I was growing up.  (I swear she was 80 years old when I was in high school.)  Today, Mom suffers from the early stages of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and she is on Oxygen.  So basically, she has short-term memory loss, shakes more than a politician on the campaign trail, and has an “oxygen hose” leash like a puppy.  Nonetheless, she is Mom and Grandma and we share unconditional love.

Today’s lesson deals with limits.  Because of Mom’s health, I found it funny that she would play Bocce once a week.  I mean, really, how can this frail, old woman, play a sport?  However, we “young” boys were excited to watch her.  And, she was awesome!  The other women were helpful and gave her the bocce balls to throw.  My boys watched how people cared and were competing for fun.  No insults or angry looks.  Not exactly “boy” behavior!

When the game began, Mom held on to one of the posts of the roof over the court and “bocce’d” away.  She scored two points first for her team!  My boys were excited!  The game was a close one, but in the end, Mom’s team lost 12-11.  However, her team won the next two games!  Then, all of the “mature” Italian women all went to lunch.   Reminds me of when the boys played 4-5 year old soccer and the best part was the snack.  Only, I bet they went to a great Italian restaurant and did not order Scooby-doo fruit snacks.  Ironically, all of the women present would have been able to serve the best homemade Italian food created outside of Naples, Mom’s ancestral home.

During the bocce game, I stopped being a son who knew best, and watched my boys help collect the bocce balls for the women, keep score, and cheer loudly.  I watched all of these Grandmas show love and care for my boys.  This was true sportsmanship:  playing for fun, cheering each other on, and taking care of each other.  I was humbled to watch.



Filed under Lessons from students

4 responses to “Grandma’s Birthday!

  1. donna

    What a special trip. We missed you all this week, but it sounds like you guys were exactly where you were supposed to be. What a good lesson for your kids too! Thanks for sharing such a touching story.

  2. With tears, I celebrate your Mom and miss mine passionately. Mine learned to swim at 76 years old, her joy for much of her remaining years. She died at 93 years of age, ornery and spirited, still loving her butter pecan ice cream as often as possible! How blessed we are to have had such fun-loving women to guide us on our journeys. Thank you for sharing such a grand tribute.

  3. Thanks Meg. We go back for another visit soon. I am not sure we will see a bocce game, but we should get some good eats!

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