We talked about many things on our Wednesday morning visits. I typically took sweets for her because I was always worried about her getting sick and becoming skinny and frail. I thought if she had a little meat on her bones she could withstand illness better.

I would typically go fishing prior to our visits. It was a tradition almost. If I caught a keeper I quit fishing and drove to her house and I would show her my catch and she would always "wow" at it. If my morning outing was not successful I would go again after our visit. If I caught something I would return to her house. If she saw my vehicle pull in for a second time she would meet me on her front doorstep because she knew I caught something worthy of admiring.

She always had newspapers handy by the door so I could clean the fish on the picnic table near the outdoor spigot. She had a couple folks in town that always asked her about fish I had caught. They were on an informal list for my fish. My Dad had an actual list at the gas station in town 50 years prior. My Mom liked me carrying on my Father's legacy.

In the last couple years I would take my Mom out to eat for our visits. We would always take the rural backroads. She liked the backroads because it was where her memories of my Father were the most strong. He was a hunting and fishing nut. I would go on photographic missions with her. She saw this huge thistle on the side of the road and insisted I turn around and take a photo. She told me to take lots of photos of the thistle because it was so unique. This is a Musk Thistle.

Ma always told stories about Dad on our adventures on the backroads. She repeated the same stories often. I did not mind. It made her happy and that was all that mattered. We even went back to the bridge "we" found the thistle on for 2 more years afterward. She was disappointed it did not grow each year and was gone after that only time "we" photographed it.
We did find a nice flower to take photos of on another trip. She liked it if I would find out what I had taken photos of. This a Spiderwort.

Not so long ago our Wednesday visits changed. Her vision and balance became poor and she moved in with my sister Deb. She developed pneumonia and became more frail. Her health was a constant subject with my sister Deb and I. Deb took her to all of her doctor visits. I had to visit when Mom was available and not going to the doctor. I remember checking the answering machine each time I came home because I would always worry about Mom. The phone rang at an odd time this April and I was certain it was bad news about Mom. It was bad news about my sister Kate.

We started our Wednesday eating out again. My Ma's balance was terrible and I always held her arm to and from places we went to eat. We talked about Kate going to heaven and being with Dad often on our long car rides out in the country. My mom is very religious. She realized her health was failing and it wouldn't be long before she was reunited with her parents and Dad and Kate.

We had a really long conversation once about her seeing Dad once she went to heaven. She wondered if he would see her as a frail old 91 year old or as he last saw her in 1967. She thought he might not even recognize her. She was very happy when I told her he would see her as she was on their wedding day.

I still look at the answering machine every time I walk in the house. I still catch myself planning our next Wednesday adventure. My mom passed 22 December.