It takes a village to care for Mom

It takes a village to raise a parent.

You and I have long known about the need of the so-called village of neighbors, friends and family to raise our kids.

Today, I’m thanking the village it takes to care for my mom.

My mom, who has it made it quite clear she’s not leaving our hometown where she’s spent her entire life, even if all the kids live far away.

My mom, who was diagnosed with a mild form of lymphoma a few months ago and has been undergoing chemotherapy.

Dear Reader, this isn’t the column I planned for you this week.

But when I got the call from my brother. “Mom isn’t doing well. You need to get out here.” Well, I hit “delete” on a lot of plans I had for this week.

So much for the mild form of chemotherapy doctors promised us. Those treatments are kicking her behind.

She’s dropping weight faster than a bad dream version of “The Biggest Loser.” And she’s always been about 100 pounds in soaking wet socks, so she doesn’t have any weight to spare.

So, how did I do it, drop everything to go? I could only pull it off thanks to The Village.

My brother, who was the first responder, driving hundreds of miles when he didn’t like how our mom sounded on the phone.

My sister, who will pick up next week when I have to leave.

My aunt and uncle, who live in the same town.

My mom’s friends, who pitch in how they can even though they are all pushing 80 and have physical ailments of their own.

On the homefront, I marvel at my husband, who is able to pull out frequent flier plane tickets like a magician’s rabbit popping out of a hat. How he doesn’t blink at going into single-dad mode.

Our kids, who are taking care of our menagerie of pets.

The neighbors and fellow parents, who said, “Sure, no problem,” when I ask can you help with school pick-up, a ride to the airport.

I could go on and on, and I know you would understand. Chances are you have your own village helping to take care of your parents.

I bet you could even be part of someone else’s village.

That was me, just last week when my friend’s dad suffered a stroke. “What’s one more?” I insisted as I picked up her daughter and adopted her for a few days.

I sure like the part of being part of someone else’s village better than having to ask for help.

To all my people who have said, “Yes.” To you, who are a part of your friend’s village.

Let me just say, “Thank you.”

I couldn’t be here taking care of my mom without you.