Sunday, December 14, 2008

A moment of brightness

Yesterday, I felt kind of droopy. Most likely, this was because I had eaten quite a bit of junk the day before and my body was paying me back. So, when EG and the kids went to play at the restaurant, I opted instead to peek in on my mother at the nursing home and then run to buy groceries for the next few days. Lately, my mother doesn't know us, is hardly verbal, and very slow in her thought processes, so I figured I'd be back home in an hour.

When I walked into the nursing home, my mother, to my surprise, called me by name and said, "I've been watching for you." I looked at the aide and raised my eyebrows. She said, "She has had an EXCELLENT day."

I called my sister and told her she might want to come and take advantage of this rare period of lucidity. Unfortunately, the down side to the situation was that my mother was confused, as she did not remember going to the nursing home. I told her, "You fell and hit your head, and the doctor wants you here where you can be watched." I didn't enlighten her that it was nearly three years ago. She didn't know for sure where she was, so I told her, "This is the place where you went for rehab when you broke a bone, and you said that if something happened to you again, you would choose this place." She worried about wearing out her welcome. I told her the insurance paid for it.

The hardest part was that she didn't remember my father had died. She asked about him, and I told her, "It is Saturday, and we had chili." (A family custom because Dad liked chili, but not the aftereffects he experienced during the work week.) She smiled. Then she said, "So he was pleased." I told her, "He is the same as he's been for quite a while. You know Dad."

One of the residents of the nursing home was going down the hall, and she said, "Is that your dad?"

"I hope not," I told her. She laughed. I asked her if she wanted Dad to come tonight, or would she prefer later, as she was getting tired. She said, "Maybe tomorrow."

She was getting worn out, so we requested that the aide put her to bed. I introduced her to the same aide she's had for her entire time in the nursing home, and the aide, who had been given a heads up about Mom worrying about her welcome, told her, "The girls have taken good care of you, but your doctor wants us to do it for now." Mom was okay with that.

We stayed until she was asleep, then we went out for a sandwich. I was gone much longer than I intended, but I didn't want to lose out on that precious time. It isn't often people get to spend time with a loved one who has left them.


Reverend Mom said...

Wow! What a wonderful gift. I'm glad you had yesterday with your Mom. Can I say I'm a tad bit jealous? Mom still knows us, but sometimes I just want to talk to her, and that's impossible.

Munchkin Mom said...

I know. I used to call mom up and talk for hours. She was so perceptive about people, and now she doesn't talk except on rare occasions.

Sometimes I think it would have been easier to have her go suddenly.

TobyBo said...

I am so glad you had the gift of this experience.