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  • Martha Rasche

Storytime with Mom

My 95-year-old mother has resided in a nursing home for three months, and my siblings and I are all finding new ways to make the most of our time together.

One evening last week I took Mom the November/December issue of Good Old Days. After supper, she picked up the magazine and settled in. She read the headlines from the cover aloud and then turned to a page or two. She was quiet for a bit, and I told her she should read to me if she found something interesting.

“I thought this was very interesting,” she said almost immediately.

“Read it to me,” I requested.

“Looking Back, 4. From the Mailbox, 5. Rewind, 20. Good Old Days on the Radio, 24.”

She was reading me the table of contents!

I had read the magazine the night before so had her read me “Fruitcake Weather,” which took place in the 1950s. Then I asked her to read me “Tante’s Tales,” about the author’s German great-aunt living with the girl and her family in the 1930s and ’40s. My own “Tante” lived with my family, too, though before I was born. The Tante in the story had poor eyesight, as my mom’s grandmother did, and I was correct in thinking the young girl’s interactions with the nearly blind woman would resonate with my mom.

We easily filled the rest of the evening with Mom’s stories about her grandmother and her own Tante Mary.

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