Most of us don't like generalizations. I, for one, don't like to be lumped into a category to which somebody thinks I belong. Following that line of thought, it's insulting to say that all women like shiny things. In my mother's case, it just happens to be a true statement. Just how true, and just how much of a motivator it is for her, I'll let you decide.
If you refer back to this post https://www.sugarandspicekit.com/chit-chat/whats-in-a-name, it gives you just a smidgen of an idea as to what my mother's brain and body have been put through since October of last year. It is miraculous that she has survived, although her brain and heart function will never recover to their former capabilities. We're now used to her substituting words and names at random, and are mostly able to understand her references.
I was able to spend two weeks this past month with my mom, and I'll forever be grateful for that time. As the time ticked away though, I was all too aware that the entire family was traveling for a wedding soon, and that those plans had originally included my mom. None of us felt right about leaving her behind, but didn't know if her health would permit travel. Each day, after all, came with different challenges. Her doctor gave her the green light to travel, and we kept broaching the subject with her. At first, it was an emphatic 'no'. Slowly, we read between the lines and realized that she, who was always the most well-dressed person wherever she went, was embarrassed to be seen by the extended family. She had only worn loose gowns for comfort since October, and was already giving away her clothes, etc., resigning herself to never wearing her crisp cottons and beautiful silks again.
The minute she hesitantly said 'yes' and we booked her ticket, we saw the most incredible transformation begin to take place. She asked for the keys to her closet, and slowly began to choose outfits for the many functions during the wedding celebration. As she did so, the light began to return to her eyes, with a barely perceptible excitement. The next day we brought her jewelry box to her, and my mother started to go through her earrings and rings as though she had never expected to see them again. When she picked up her favorite pearl earrings - that she had specially made 35 years ago - and put them on, the smile that lit up her face is one I will never forget.
My mother made it to the wedding, and was able to meet the entire family. She dressed in her silks, wore her favorite jewelry, and even wore make-up. Like a magpie, it may seem as though it was the shiny things that motivated my mother to make the almost superhuman effort it took. But we, her family, know. Jasbir Kaur was not going to miss the opportunity to meet her son-in-law and grandchildren traveling all the way from the United States. She was not going to stay home and let a party happen without her. And she was certainly not going to miss the opportunity to be where the people she loves most in the world were all gathered together in one place.
God's grace, the devotion of the immediate family caring for her everyday, her medical team and a nutritious diet are responsible for the miracle that is her recovery. But it is her own grit and iron will that caused her to push, and not give up. Her children and their children carry those genes, and I only hope that when we face challenges in our lives, we can meet them the way she has. Even if it was only so she could wear her shiny things again.