birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Used To Be The Road Runner

In her younger years, trying to keep up with my mom was like trying to keep up with the Road Runner. Walking in the mall my sister and I would constantly be trailing behind, our training from school kept us from running in the hallway to try to keep up with her. Mom was constantly turning around saying come on hurry up! Can’t you walk faster. There are days when I go to pick her up for church or a meeting I hear myself saying mom keeping walking. I have a flashback to those days when the role was reversed, my heart feels a pang.

We really did not notice the slowing down until she hit 80, then we began to see some slight changes, especially with her walking. With each passing year you could see changes . Today closer to 90 the slowing down is obvious. It feels like she is becoming less sure of herself.

My mom was brought to America to be a daughter to her uncle. In her homeland, she had visions of either being an artist or a midwife, but the family fulfilled its duty and sent her here. Little did she or her family know the kind of life they had sent her to. She basically was brought her to take care of her uncle and to help him at his restaurant.

Years of working on the farm doing hard labor and then years spent in the factory as a laborer left her with not only a hip, but also a knee replacement. Add neuropathy to the mix and it was an automatic given the slowing down progress had begun

My mom is an inspiration though. At her age and with her limited walking abilities, she still wakes every morning with a purpose. Each day she has a plan of what she wants to do. It is really hard to watch things that used to take her a couple of hours to complete, now take a good portion of the day to do and leave her tired, but as she says “I no give up”.

She still makes bread for Sunday services at church. She is also asked to make various specialty breads for specific feast days. At New Year’s she makes a sweet bread with a coin hidden inside for each of her children and their families. She loves to bake various Greek pastries and to this day still enjoys cooking. She continues to host Christmas and Easter at her house, with each passing year we have had to do more and more in the way of setting up and taking food she has prepared and baking it for her. Lifting heavy things is becoming more difficult for her.

Her mental capacity is slowing a bit, but oh my goodness, she really still has it together. My sister and I call each other laughing warmly at how she still has an eye for fashion and home décor. She still drives although less and less because of the walking. We are truly blessed to have a strong mom as an example. No matter how active she still is seeing this slowdown is difficult. Reality begins to seep in. As she says her rope is becoming shorter with each passing day. For now, we rejoice in her slowness and pray that her rope still has lots of length.

Social Equilibrium

Two Weeks Notice