I just arrived back from my trip to Flo-Ree-Da to see my mom.  I am truly, deeply, absolutely exhausted. 

How do I begin?  Where do I begin?  I don’t know. I don’t know.  Ah, yes.  I have so much to share.  I think I’ll tell my story with some rhythm and rhyme.   I’m not a very good songwriter, but the tune that keeps playing again and again in my mind is Andy Williams’ “Love Story.” (Are you old enough to remember that song?  I think Frank Sinatra sang it too.)  Here’s my semi-version:

Where do I begin,
To tell the story of my long weekend in Flo-ree-da,
The drawn out story of five days in Flo-ree-da,
It’s such a story that I thought I’d write a song,
I’d write a song.

I landed on Thursday,
My mom was not at home she was far, far away,
She’d fallen ill and was in rehab for a stay,
Her apartment, yes, it was locked and I had no key,
But, her nice neighbor let me in, she let me in.

I headed off to the rehab facility,
“Don’t get lost,” said mom’s neighbors E and E,
I did get lost, I did get lost, but then I found the place,
“Where is my mom?” I sweetly said to the nice nurse,
“She’s in the west wing,” she waved her hand at me and said go see.
I took a walk, I took a walk.

I found my mom, I found my mom,
I was so glad she was alright,
I smiled, then she hugged me very tight,
Her legs had given out and she was very weak,
Her mind was sharp,
She was not meek. She was not meek.

No Olive Garden dinners, no Chinese food to eat,
Instead I dined alone on matzoh ball soup and enjoyed a large black and white cookie for my treat.
I dined alone. I dined alone.

I drove around to find the nearest Wal-Mart,
I drove around to Walgreens too,
I tried to buy two high-top seats for her pot-tees.
When darkness came, I wished instead I had some vodka and hot tod-dees.
I went to bed, I went to bed.

“What are the plans?” said social worker B, “what are the plans, today, today?
“Assisted living, nursing home, home care, or your house…is that okay?
“How will your mom survive alone?”
No, no, no, I did not like her tone, her tone.

“No, no, no,” I said as the tears came to my eyes.
“My mom will not only survive, survive.
“With your occupational and physical therapy I know she’ll thrive.”
I know she’ll thrive.  I know she’ll thrive.

I drove around to find the nearest Wal-Mart,
I drove around to Walgreens too,
I tried to return the high-top seats for her pot-tees.
When darkness came, I wish instead I had some vodka and hot tod-dees.
I went to bed, I went to bed.

Home health aids, insurance, CVS, Arthurs Medi-shop, I made the calls,
The only spot I missed was Coral Springs and a few such other malls
Deeds, living wills, other documents I searched them out,
By the end of the weekend all I wanted to do was shout.
I wanted to shout.  I wanted to shout.

“My mom is smart, my mom is great.”
She’ll be walking better soon.  Just you wait, just you wait.

I packed my bags and said good-bye to my dear ma,
Your tanless daughter must say adieu to Flo-ree-da,
I’ll see you soon, I will return,
Meantime, you be good and stay stern,
Make sure they take good care of you,
Yes, do your therapy and eat well too,

I’ll be back soon.  I promise that,
By then you’ll be back in your home flat.
I love you so.  I always will.
Rest assured my sister N and I will never leave you over the hill,
Your new tv it will be fixed, as will the window that the lightening has nixed
I’ll search high and low to find you some new pot-tees,
But, most importantly,  we’ll really celebrate with a jug full of vodka tod-dees,
We’ll celebrate with vodka tod-dees. We’ll celebrate with vodka tod-dees.