This Mother's Day, go with the Flo

May 7, 2014 • Posted in blindness, Flo, Uncategorized by

I refer to my mom by her first name, and if you follow this blog, you already know a lot about Flo. Over the years, you may have read:

Hmm. Maybe I’ll end the list with the link to that last provocative post. What can I say? The gal is game! You can count on Flo to rise to the occasion – she goes with the flow.

That's Flo in her new digs.

That’s Flo in her new digs.

Flo celebrated her 98th birthday last month at the rehab facility she’s been staying at the past couple months for physical, occupational and speech therapy. She’s made a lot of progress, and when we celebrate Mother’s Day with her there this weekend, she’ll be full of news about her new apartment: next week she’s scheduled to transition into assisted living. She’s feeling downright positive about this next chapter in her life, and that is thanks in large part to our sensational sister Cheryl.

Cheryl had been stopping to check in every single day when Flo was still living independently in her condo, and she is still at Flo’s side every day at the rehab facility. She stops at the condo first to pick up Flo’s mail — thanks to all of you who’ve sent cards and letters, Flo loves getting mail. Cheryl does Flo’s laundry and brings clean clothes along, attends meetings with doctors, nurses, therapists and social workers, then translates the medical jargon into wording that Flo can understand.

And now that Flo has opted to move to assisted living rather than return to her condo, Cheryl’s been helping figure out what Flo should bring to the new digs and what to leave behind, packing boxes and filling out paperwork. Cheryl and her children have been moving select pieces of furniture and other belongings to the new place bit by bit, and it’s already set for the big move.

Cheryl has been doing all this without a complaint, and she shrugs off our gratitude with a that’s-what-you-do attitude that I think she inherited from you-know-who: Flo.

Mike, Whitney and I visited Flo at the rehab place Monday night and found her in great spirits, eager to show off her new place. It’s connected to the rehab facility, so Mike wheeled Flo over while I gave Whitney the “Follow!” command to bring up the rear. “Look at that!” Flo cooed. “Cheryl even put my mother and dad’s wedding picture up, it’s right there above my bed.” She pointed the photo out to Mike and described the oversized old oval frame it’s in so I could, you know, picture it.

Mike sent an email to my out-of-state brother and sisters after our visit and told them, “the place looks like…Flo’s!” He pointed out how Cheryl had already hung a lot of other pictures on the walls and that Flo’s own pull-out couch and kitchen table are already set up there. “Even the Bose radio,” he told them. “I can hear Prairie Home Companion already.”

Happy Mother’s Day, Flo. You’re an inspiration to us all.

violynn333 On May 7, 2014 at 8:45 am

I love this post. Flo is amazing! Brava to Cheryl for all that she does and double brava to YOU for recognizing it and appreciating her. Happy Mother’s Day to you and Flo! xoxo

Janet May Sterling On May 7, 2014 at 9:17 am

Wow, this was awesome. Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers in our family. There are so many!

bethfinke On May 8, 2014 at 11:13 am

And you, my dear, are one of them. PS: should have said “Cheryl’s children and her son-in-law” have been helping with the move. My excuse: Your Mike has been so helpful to Flo over the years that I just think of him as one of Cheryl’s kids now!


Carli On May 7, 2014 at 9:36 am

I love this post! Happy Mother’s Day to Flo and to you Beth!

bethfinke On May 8, 2014 at 11:14 am

And just think, this time next year, we’ll be wishing *you* a happy Mother’s Day, too.


Monna Ray On May 7, 2014 at 11:24 am

Not only are you amazing, Beth but you have an absolutely amazing mother, sister and husband.

Happy Mother’s Day. Monna

bethfinke On May 8, 2014 at 11:14 am

Oh Monna, you always say the sweetest things. Thanks.


glivingston On May 7, 2014 at 11:41 am

Happy Mother’s Day Beth and Flo. You both are mom role models.

bethfinke On May 8, 2014 at 11:15 am

Takes one to know one. Thanks, Gretchen –happy MD to you, too.


Hank On May 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Live this post. Happy Mother’s Day to Flo and to you too, Beth. And what an awesome contribution Cheryl is making!

bethfinke On May 8, 2014 at 11:16 am

Couldn’t agree more. Cheryl is awesome.


Bev On May 7, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Well said, Beth! Looking forward to making many new memories in the new ‘digs’.

bethfinke On May 8, 2014 at 11:17 am

Yes, and you said it so well when you pointed out how fortunate we are to be packing up Flo’s things and going through her stuff when she is still right there nearby for us to visit and talk to. Truly a Mother’s Day gift.


Marilee On May 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm

What a beautiful Mother’s Day tribute- as Janet said we have wonderful amazing moms in our family and we celebrate them all. Great post!

bethfinke On May 8, 2014 at 11:19 am

And the number of amazing *grandmothers* seems to be growing by the month, too.


Brad On May 7, 2014 at 7:04 pm

A really lovely tribute to two essential people, Beth. I’m so glad I’ve had the opportunity to spend at least one evening with Flo. Happy Mother’s Day to
all of you.

Bonnie On May 7, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Happy Mother’s Day Beth, Flo and Cheryl. Cheryl is a wonderful person.

bethfinke On May 8, 2014 at 11:21 am

She sure is.


bethfinke On May 8, 2014 at 11:20 am

Thanks, Brad. She sure enjoyed spending time with you, to. I’ll send her your good wishes.


The Empty Pen On May 8, 2014 at 11:12 am

Great picture of the two (three) of you. Flo’s new digs look nice.

Happy Mother’s Day!

bethfinke On May 8, 2014 at 11:22 am

Thanks — had no idea if that photo turned out or not. Hope you can see how pleased Flo is –and how happy Whit and I are to be with her in the new digs, too.


Cheryl On May 8, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Thanks for the nice things you’ve said about my caring for Mom but you know Mom makes it a pleasure. She loves visiting with people and she’s very appreciative of everything that people do for her. I am the lucky one who gets to relive Mom’s memories with her from looking at old photos and reading cards and letters that she received sometimes seventy years ago. I know Mom looked after our gramma years ago. I guess it is a that’s-what-you-do-attitude that been passed along. Hope the next generation gets it ’cause I have a feeling I’m gonna need a lot of help! Cheryl

bethfinke On May 9, 2014 at 5:32 am

You know, that’s true — Flo *did* look after her mother, too. That’s-what-you-do, and we’re so grateful you do. Looking forward to being with Flo this weekend for Mother’s Day.


Jenny Fischer On May 8, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Beth – you are truly your mom’s daughter – how wonderful – 98 and able to be in assisted living and enthusiastic about life!

bethfinke On May 9, 2014 at 5:35 am

That is high praise, and we are so lucky to still have Flo with us at age 98. I have far too many friends who, like you, lost their mothers far too young. Thanks for your kind words on Mother’s Day, Jenny.


mrayis On May 9, 2014 at 8:54 am

What an indomitable spirit! Happy Mother’s Day to Flo – and to you, Beth!

bethfinke On May 9, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Indomitable. Wish I’d thought of that word when I was composing this blog post. It’s perfect.


Linda Miller On May 12, 2014 at 8:50 am

Great post–inspiring to hear about Flo and all of you cheering her on.

bethfinke On May 12, 2014 at 11:23 am

We’re a pretty good squad, but don’t ask us to do a pyramid.


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