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Carol Perkins: Mother's Day

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With Mother's Day approaching on May 8, 2022, Carol takes time out to note how luck she is that her mother is still curious and interested in life at the century mark.

By Carol Perkins

The phone rings. "Would you look on your phone and see when the Warriors play. They're in the playoffs." She is a fan of Steven Curry.

On Sunday afternoon, the phone rings. "Are you watching Tiger?"

On Sunday night, I call. "Which idol did the best tonight?"

She calls. "When is my beauty shop appointment?" I call. "What kind of stitches do I use on this quilt?" She calls. "Can you find someone to fix my carport before it falls down?"

I call. "I think we need to meet Martha (her sister) in Elizabethtown soon. We haven't seen her in a few years."

We talk about feeding the birds, the nightly news, Covid, and her life. I have begun to take notes. We Facetime her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was born in 1921, so you can do the math. (She doesn't like this kind of math.)

When she doesn't feel well, I remind her that she is lucky that she isn't sitting somewhere looking out the window, not knowing where she is. She laughs.

"But I know I can feel better," she says.

I say, "I know I could feel better, too." I say. "I'll pick you up around three, and we'll take a ride." We have covered almost every backroad in the county, but the more familiar ones are those in the Flat Rock/Breeding area where she spent her younger years.

We drive through Chestnut Grove Cemetery, where her parents, aunts and uncles, and other relatives are buried. "I'd like to know the oldest grave here." I tell her that someday I'll look at tombstones, a task I would not enjoy and will likely never do. If my cousin Roberta were alive, she would jump at this chance.

My mother graduated from Lindsey Wilson and taught in a one-room school. During the war, she moved to Louisville and sought a "war job," as many women did. One was in a chemical lab across the river in Charlestown, IN.

When she moved home, she worked at the local draft office and watched young men go off to war and others manage to get off the list. Four of her brothers served. My dad, Henry Sullivan, was gone five years in the Pacific, and when he came home, they got married. She was only 55 when he died of a heart attack.

Surviving breast cancer at age 86 and Covid at age 99 was a miracle. "You don't want this Covid," she reminds me. "It stays with you." Advice and mothers are synonymous. I am quick to dish it out to my children. One of the best pieces of advice she gives all of us came from her mother. "Don't ever look up to anyone and never look down."

As Mother's Day approaches, I am reminded of how lucky I am that my mother is still interested in life. When she isn't up to par, she'll say, "I don't know why I'm still here." My reply is, "To worry the rest of us to death." We laugh.

You can contact Carol at

This story was posted on 2022-04-30 09:26:09
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