Monday Memories With My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
     Kristin and I made a delivery to grandma's Thursday night as I had received her monthly shipment of personal items -- and she needed them asap.  My mom was not in her room.  Kristin went to see if she was at dinner.  She found her in the hall on her way back from dinner to her apartment...with "The Don".  Kristin said "The Don" said he would let her visit with her company and left.  I'd like to say (again) that Kristin is excellent with grandma.  She tells her stories, shows her pictures, makes her charms for her key chain.  She has always been good with grandma.  A few years ago, Kristin would call grandma and just talk and talk, because she knew grandma would love to hear every detail of everything and Kristin is good with details.

Sorry for the bad nighttime cell phone pic
     While visiting, I was a little apprehensive as it is unusual for us to visit in the evening hours and typically my mom is more agitated at that time.  However, my mom did not seem too bad.  She repeated the normal things that she does, but also told us about a fire drill they had and told us how much it scares her and the residents.  She doesn't think they should have drills because she says nobody will believe it when the real fire comes.  I reminded her to assume that all drills were "real" and head for the Exit.  Kristin told her they have them at school, too and explained it to grandma.  I shudder to think what would happen and would probably be mortified if I saw what happens during the drills. 
     Since my mom seemed fairly coherent, I decided to let her know that my childhood neighbor friend had lost her husband to cancer.  We were close friends with her and her family growing up and my mom was great friends with her mom.  To my surprise, my mom began to tear up when I told her, which made me cry.  Why, you say?  Well, because one of the many changes I have seen in my mom over these last few years is her almost total lack of empathy.  I have not seen her cry actual tears in a long time.  I remember when her close neighbor, Ginny, passed away.  Ginny was an older lady my mom actually used to help take care of.  This was before my mom was formally diagnosed.  My mom did not cry, but she did keep repeating that she died and called me several times to tell me the same thing over and over.  I knew this was not normal for my mom.  I used to tell my mom things on the phone that I thought she would be shocked to hear or upset about and her response somewhere along the way became "huh".  Not, "Oh Cindy, that's terrible" or not a "gasp".  Just a pause and then "huh".  At the time, It made me mad.  I would say, "that's it, just huh"?  I used to share all kinds of things with my mom.  I haven't been truly able to do that in years.  So, back to Thursday when I shared this news with her.  Her face crinkled up close to tears...I teared up...and then just as fast as she almost cried she instantly said, "I heard your dad moved again".  So close, and yet so far.  I laughed through my (almost) tears.  Kristin understood.
      If your mom is still someone you are able to share "things" with, (or maybe it's your sister or grandma), you may not realize how lucky you are!  Girlfriends are great, but your mom is your mom!!


The big deep box that comes to my door every month



Jennifer V. said...

Wait did she really know your Dad moved again? And I love that Kristin loves to talk to her!

yaya said...

You have a wonderful daughter who truly loves her Grandma. I'm blessed that my Mom is still with us at age 86 and very sharp and in good health. I don't take that blessing for granted. I do hope you can have more days with your Mom that will bring a sweet joy to you. You are a wonderful daughter too!