Monday "Memories" With My Mom

     All in all, things are still going well for my mom, and I am so grateful to have some time to focus on the holidays perhaps more than I usually have in the last couple of years. 
    My mom has been asking some repetitive questions.  She wants to know where the "icebox" is.  Our family had an antique oak icebox that my dad refinished back in the 70s.  She is worried that it will "get stolen".  There is also a lot of confusion as to where the rest of her belongings are.  This is understandable, particularly since we have not allowed my mom to return to her condo since she moved into her current residence.  I recently brought her some Christmas type shirts from her condo.  She always says, "where did you find these".  Then, she mentions the various cities we have lived in in the past and says "oh, was it in Farmington Hills?".  Obviously, there is a lot of confusion when it comes to where her things are (and believe me, she has lots of things still at her condo).  However, as a family we have decided it would be much worse to let her go back and see all of her things.  It is now our job to go through everything and decide what to keep, donate or toss.  Clutter is not good for anyone, especially those with Alzheimer's or dementia.
     I did get a call last week from the office manager at American House.  She indicated that "mom was acting a little different".  Apparently, she could not find her "grey winter coat" and was asking people where it was and seemed a little agitated.  As luck would have it, the call from them came when I was on the way to my mom's old condo to retrieve those Christmas things, and then headed to visit her.  By the time I got over there to visit, she was settled in her room.  She was happy with the few miscellaneous Christmas decorations I grabbed for her...things I was hoping would trigger memories.  I don't know that they triggered memories as being hers, but she did like them.  I also brought a couple of holiday looking shirts she had.   I then told her I heard she was looking for her coat and then showed her where it was hanging in the closet.  In her defense, she has four closets and a storage room in her place, so she apparently just "forgot" which closet it was in.  I also believe the reason she had this extra time to "think" about these things was because her TV was not working.  By "not working", I mean she presses the wrong buttons and then gets the fuzzy picture and says "it's broken".  Still haven't come up with a good fix for this, but I'm working on it.  Then, she did ask if I would apologize to the people in the office and tell them we "found" her coat.  She was embarrassed that she had it all along.  Then, she always says "ya know, I have short term memory loss", and I chuckle and say "yes, mom, I know" and we laugh. 
     There was also another holiday party at the American House.  Once again, I did not make it there because they are usually in the middle of the day when my kids are getting home from school.  She said she went to it and had fun -- hope so!
     My mom also had an old friend, Eilleen, and her husband, Bill, stop by for a visit.  When me and my girls visited on Sunday, I asked her how the visit went.  She said it was nice and that Eileen brought her a box of chocolates.  (When you bring her something...she remembers!) Then, she offered some chocolates to us and went in the kitchen and looked in her refrigerator.  She could not find them.  Kristin was helping her (she wanted chocolate!).  I told Kristin to look in the cupboards.  My mom said, "no, I would put it in the refrigerator".  Well, we found the box in a cupboard up high.  She shared her chocolates with all of us and then said, "can you believe I haven't eaten the whole box yet?" to which I said, "that's because you couldn't find it!".  We laughed and laughed!!  My mom, thankfully, does have the ability to laugh at herself.  For this I am extremely grateful.  Sometimes she even says, "if you can't laugh, what else can you do"?  She is enjoying life and looking forward to Christmas Eve!!

 "I love people who make me laugh.
  I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. 
 It cures a multitude of ills.  It's probably
 the most important thing in a person."
~Audrey Hepburn

 My mom (left) and friend, Dorothy (a/k/a Grandma Frog) at American House Halloween Party
(this picture was in the American House newsletter, sorry for the "blur")


Sarah said...

I love to read the updates!

Anonymous said...

We have a special simple remote for my grandma -- it has a large power button and then two buttons for channels - up or down and two buttons for sounds - up or down. Much more simple than the remote that came with the tv -- which even i have difficulty using at times!

Kerri said...

It's wonderful that your mom has her sense of humor...you will be so happy someday that you journaled those little laughs between the two of you.