We have skills and interests that we share with people for various reasons. Maybe because the skills are necessary. Maybe because doing these things brings us joy. Whatever the reason, we share to pass it on, we share because we won’t always be around to do these things. Naturally, our parents pass many skills, interests, and talents on to their children.

We Pass It On

This was a good day, but it was a hard day. The deconstruction of mom’s mind was accelerating, she was dropping memories left and right. But she still had the skills she shared over the years.

We would be in lockdown in one week, but I didn’t know this. We were working with the seedlings in the greenhouse, but that would be the last day I’d be there for it. My daughter would move to the farm and take over, with mom by her side, to create what dad will call their victory garden.

I didn’t know I wouldn’t be there for the harvest of a truly bountiful garden, but I’m glad I was there to kick off the season. And I’m glad that mom and I have passed on gardening skills and joy to my children.

Another thing that I hope I passed on and modeled for my children is how to love an aging and/or dying parent. We pass it on. How we interact and care during this journey matters because through these acts we model. We pass it on.

©Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2020

“I like working with you, ” she said casually as I walked away.

Why did this make make me tear up?

We had spent a few minutes, about 60, working on the greenhouse, repotting seedlings, watering.

“I like working with you.”

But you taught me all this we do.

I tear up because she doesn’t remember.

“I like working with you.”

She Still Has Skills.

She’s miles into the ALZ, but when I told her I wanted to take my flailing little seedlings to the greenhouse, she put on her jacket and followed me. She knew what needed to be done.

As I shook the delicate roots of the seedlings apart and repotted them into pierced Dixie cups, she collected rat-chewed bags, pulled down dried vines, then swept away the cobwebs. She prepped the greenhouse.

“I like working with you.”

She acts amazed when I pull off moves much less complex than the ones I watched her perform over the years. I tear up because she doesn’t remember that she taught me how.

“I like working with you.”

Mom, I love working with you. You’ve trained me well.

©Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2020