My Surrogate Mother

Mrs K and Snoopy.
They walked the neighborhood each evening and I was always invited along
Our walks turned into invitations to come to her home.  Which I did daily.  There were dinner dishes to help her with and cartoons to watch on Saturday mornings. And car rides to the store…. I cherished those.  I always wanted to go to the store with my Mother.  Unfortunately that never happened.  But with Mrs K, it did.

The days I missed school because of an illness, there were goody bags with things to keep me occupied.
Gifts on my birthday’s and at Christmas.  And her attention, always her loving undivided attention.

Her four children were older and seemed to understand my presence.  Her oldest John and his friends taught me how to play baseball and football.  
I was always included in the back yard games.  I adored these “older boys” who were all of 18, And my 7 year old heart swooned over many of them.  To this day I still believe those innocent crushes were the absolute best.

My daily visits became a few a week as I entered my teens.  But I always knew she was there for me  
And then after graduation from High School my family was transferred back to the Midwest with my Father’s job…..
And my few times a week visits now became cross country trips.
I am now in my 50’s and I make the trip twice a year to visit my “Mom”

Our phone calls are usually very similar now.  She tells me she has dementia, and I hear the same tales and stories.  And that she doesn’t remember names and faces anymore, but she knows she should know them because of how happy the people’s faces are when they see her, so she must know them.
Then in the middle of her telling me all about what she’s forgotten…..
She begins telling me of 7 year old Beth, and the adventures she and I had.  All our memories.
Then of 12 year old Beth, and 15 year old Beth….

She promises me she will not forget me…
I pray she is right.
As I said previously, the things I am most proud of, the things I like the most about myself, I learned from my Surrogate Mom..