Sally Ann Shurmur: Released From Captivity, Just In Time For Mother's Day

Columnist Sally Ann Shurmur writes, "Happy Mother's Day to all of us who are or are filling the role of moms. I think of myself as a sandwich, still so lucky to have my mom and also be a mom to the two who God gave me."

Sally Ann Shurmur

May 10, 20244 min read

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Peggy Jane the Mom has been in the hospital or a rehab facility since pneumonia in early March.

While at rehab, she couldn’t reach the landline in her room and of course doesn’t have a cell.

She used to have a “car phone,” and only took it with her when driving at my sister’s demand. Now that she doesn’t drive, she sees no need for a cell, email, texting, pictures of the grandgirls instantly, etc., let alone FaceTime or Zoom.

She is back in her assisted living room now and it’s great to be able to call her whenever I have something to tell her.

She received her Mother's Day flowers from us the day after she got back, and although I made the mistake of calling during “Jeopardy!” seemed very pleased to be “home.”

After receiving cortisone injections in my hips early last week, I feel about 1,000 percent better.

Since this was my first real pain experience in 67 years (it’s tricky to be in pain when you never move), I did not know how bad it was until there was some relief.

I am going to physical therapy twice a week and amazingly, my balance seems to be coming back.

So it’s been a comparatively busy time, when the previous baseline had been chair, precarious stairs and bed.

My coming out party was a fundraiser for the high school booster club.

The restaurant was full, bidders were in a spendy mood, and I came home with a new friend for my wall.

Could I have purchased Harold at the rhyming decorator store like the donor did? Sure, but then the booster club would not have received the eight times inflated price.

Now Harold the closeup highland cow face portrait greets visitors through his long bangs on the entryway wall.

The day after, I got my nails done in my friend’s basement salon. For months, I have nearly crawled down the half-flight of stairs.

When I arrived, she was in the kitchen and I told her to go down first so she could watch me come down the stairs.

There was no grunting, no yelling out in pain, no wobbly stopping on every stair to wonder if I could make it.

She cried watching me.

When I got home, I had visitors from Seattle by way of Arizona.

Mary and I are sorority sisters and were roommates in the Pi Phi house. We had not seen each other in 46 years and the conversation was like it had been 46 minutes.

She had texted me from Glenrock’s Paleon Museum, saying her husband was enthralled and she was trying to get him out of there.

She has regularly made the trip from Seattle to her hometown of Sheridan to tend to family business, but now that we are retired, we vowed to see each other more often.

On Saturday, Owen helped with a bunch of house chores and then I walked from corner to corner, aided by my walker.

It wasn’t easy, but I did it.

And then I went to Mass alone on Sunday. People I hadn’t seen in months acted like I arose from the dead.

I sat for most of it but did roll up to receive Communion.

And when I stood for the final blessing, I almost got the giggles because I forgot how much Father talks.

So there I was, trying to stay standing, grasping my walker as hard as I could, and I started doing side leg kicks like they have me do in PT.

I am sure the folks behind me thought I was nuts.

I even felt good enough to spend a day baking cookies, something I haven’t done in forever. When Sal returns to the kitchen, all is right with the world.

Happy Mother's Day to all of us who are or are filling the role of moms.

I think of myself as a sandwich, still so lucky to have my mom and also be a mom to the two who God gave me.

And I am luckier still that I can call my mom again.

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Sally Ann Shurmur