Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 23, 2000

Harold Keller / L’Observateur / February 23, 2000

My mother will be 92 years old in May. Over the past 50 years, she has beenin relatively good health. My father died in 1955 at the age of 48. My motherhas dedicated her life to raising her four children.

My brother, Mark, died in 1997, and my two sisters, Lillie Reno and Judith Duhon live in Reserve near my mother. Ourmother was not only dedicted tous, but her life was also centered around her grandchildren and great- grandchildren. She did quite a bit of baby-sitting and never complained orrefused.

Being up in age, sometimes people get confused, even to the point of forgetting and many times acting as little children. The Bible says that toenter the kingdom of Heaven, we must become as little children. I believe Godis blessing my mother in her old age.

About a year ago, my sisters and I felt it necessary to have someone sleep at my mother’s house. We now each take a turn, so every third night, I sleepin Reserve. Judith and I usually hear when my mother gets up in the middle ofthe night. We both find it hard to believe that when Lillie sleeps at mymother’s, according to Lillie, my mother never gets up. She insists that mymother sleeps all night. Judith and I laugh and say that we hope my motherdoesn’t need help at night. We both know that she wakes up a few times toeither use the bathroom, or go to the kitchen to eat some cookies. She alsohas a habit of bringing some cookies to bed and putting them under her pillow. (When we confront her with that, she denies it, just as many childrenwould.)My mother also forgets who we are sometimes. She talks to me about Haroldand Mark, not realizing that I am Harold. About three weeks ago, as we weregetting ready to go to sleep, she said that she was glad I was sleeping there because all Lillie does is walk around all night. (Just like Lillie believes mymother sleeps all night, my mother believes Lillie never sleeps.) Judith and Iknow they are both wrong.

One night, she spoke to me about her two sons, Harold and Mark. “They werealtogether different,” she said. “Just like day and night,” she continued. Forthe sake of conversation, I went along as an innocent third party. I thenasked my mother “Who was the nicest of your two sons, Harold or Mark?” She immediately answered, “Mark, by far, was the nicest. Harold always hada proud look and thought he knew everything.” I then realized that I hadasked the wrong question to the right person. She knew us the best.Did her answer surprise me? Maybe a little, but the Bible also says that the truth will set you free. My mother just told it like it was and I received it as areminder of what I was but hopefully getting a little better and with maybe some humility and maturity.

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