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6.14.2011

WINKEN, BLINKEN AND NOD

My mom had an amazing ability when I was growing up.  She could literally fall asleep in just about any position, anywhere, and at any time.  Now mind you, she had (still does!) more energy and zip than anyone I knew, but she equally had the ability to sleep say, through a tornado.  Which by the way, she did once.  One summer stormy night we were roused from our sleep by our dad.  We huddled in our parent's room looking out their northwest window seeing the storm (a tornado touched down about 1 mile from their house).  Mom was still in bed sound asleep as the family visually tracked the storm by her bedside.  In fact, when dad decided it best that we get to the basement, she followed us down only to immediately lay back down on the couch and promptly fall asleep.  There is a family vacation photo of my mom on Mackinaw Island, Michigan laying on the perimeter wall of the historic Old Fort asleep with her legs stretched out, arms folded as in death with her 1970's bandanna on.  Most kids instinctively go to their mom's side of the bed in the middle of the night when they need something.  That was not the case in our house.  You could stand right beside my mom's side of the bed and repeatedly say her name - trying to wake her up to no avail.  She, when asleep, was completely dead to the world.  On the other hand, my dad would hear me silently standing by his side of the bed and wake up.  He and I had a non-verbal system; I would stand by his side of the bed, he would sense my presence, silently he would rise and we would both go downstairs where he would wait in the kitchen while I went to the bathroom and then I would wait in the kitchen for him to go to the bathroom.  We then silently climbed the stairs again.  I don't recall too many vacations where my mom ever really stayed awake in the car.  No matter where or how long it took to get where we were going, she fell asleep.  Once my parents retired they wintered in Florida.  My dad declares that he hates driving down to Florida as it is a boring, silent trip with my mom sleeping a good share of the way there.  He will say, "Caroline, you can sleep your life away!"   I have to think that working, having three daughters who were 18 months apart, and keeping up with home and church may have left her chronically exhausted.  I take after my dad, waking at the sound of silence or the blink of an eye connected to the person laying next to me.  I definitely don't sleep my life away.  In fact, with as little sleep as I get I am probably shortening my life span.  Whereas my mom will live to be 100 - or at least sleep until then.

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