Monday Memories With My Mom *

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
     Well, gosh, I know I kinda put it all out there last week with regard to my mom and how we spent her birthday and all.  I can't thank all of you enough for following along with our little journey (the good, the bad and the ugly).  Thanks, especially, to those who took time to leave me your kind comments and words of encouragement as I continue to try to do my best helping to care for and socialize with my mom.  You are truly a gift!! 
     A few days after last week's post, I was back to my mom's bringing her all that I thought she would need to wear to a family wedding we had this past Saturday.  My mom's youngest niece, Brittany (her brother's daughter) was getting married and after some discussion, and with my brother agreeing to bring my mom, we decided it was important that we make sure my mom tried to attend the reception.  Because there were five hours between the ceremony and reception, we did decide going to both would be too much for my mom. 
The Makings of a Night on the Town
     I'm not sure why, but it seemed a lot of work went into coordinating the logistics of getting my mom to the wedding.  I can't remember the last time my mom wore a dress or stockings...it's probably been awhile.  I retrieved a dress she had from her condo, bought a necklace in hopes of sprucing things up, some clip on earrings (my mom gradually tore her pierced ear by wearing her earrings to bed too much...yikes, I know), two pairs of stockings, and some "old lady shoes".  This is the first time I did not feel comfortable with her wearing a flat styled dressy shoe -- she officially needs more support than that.  (I also knew her favorite pink fuzzy Crocs weren't going to work and the taupe shoes she has a love/hate relationship with these days did not coordinate very well.)  I made her an official hair appointment with the beauty salon in her apartment complex.  She has not had a good haircut since this incident.  The lady was very nice over the phone and told me my mom frequently visited with her in the building and let the lady knowr she was waiting for her bangs to grow after cutting her own hair.  Got a card for my mom to sign, etc..  I guess it only seemed like a lot since I was also doing some of these same things for my three kids.
     I have to admit I was a bit anxious about how my brother was going to do picking up my mom.  Praying her hair held up from the appointment the day before.  Hoping she had some makeup on, etc...  I was pleasantly surprised to find my mom in presentable condition when they arrived at the reception.  Her grandchildren, my brother and my husband all helped to take her coat, get her some "Diet Coke" and take her to say hello to a few people.  The reception was at the very beautiful Lovett Hall, and my mom was duly impressed and commented several times how nice it was.
     When the dinner bells rang, we took the elevator up to the ballroom and sat my mom between me and my brother.  Rest assured, the questions kept coming...much like my experience in my last post.  My mom was particularly focused on seeing my cousin, Jeff, who lives out of state and she hasn't seen in a few years.  Even after she saw him and they spoke, she still kept asking.  We did have to tell my mom to be quiet several times during the various toasts and prayers before dinner.  She does not like to be told to be quiet.  She enjoyed her food, some of which I cut up for her to be able to manage.  Then, just when you think her appetite isn't what it used to be...along come dessert with a big chocolate covered strawberry on the side!  Let's just say that disappeared very quickly!!
     After dinner, the band picked up and there was lots of visiting with family.  My mom took many opportunities to tell her grandkids to "clap" during the toasts and much of the music that was playing.  This was particularly funny when my very "cool" 16 year old nephew was forced to clap because Grandma kept telling him to.  I do think at times she thought she was at another great party at the American House (where she lives).  At one point, she saw my blingy purse on the table and she said to me, "is that yours?".  I said, "yes".  She said, "what apartment are you in?".  She was in her world...and sometimes ours.  This was a late night for my mom.  She arrived around 6:30 pm and stayed until 11 pm.  I know she was tired, but as always, she hung in there not wanting to miss a thing. 
     My absolute favorite part of having my mom there or my mom was when the band played Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline".  My mom has been a die hard Neil fan for years.  I started singing it with her, reminding her of the words, and then my brother whisked her away to the dance floor.  I followed snapping some shots with my iPhone camera.  He even gave her a spin or two making me think perhaps I am too protective of her.  (But wait, let us not forget who would ultimately end up with the responsibiity for her additional care if she did happen to stumble or take a fall...)  Nonetheless, she was happy happy happy!! 
     This is likely the last of our family weddings in the foreseeable future...and I am not pushing for my kids to get married anytime soon!!  So glad to have added this to our "Memories With My Mom".

Don't Forget to Clap!!!
"Sweet Caroline"
(so good, so good, so good!!)
I LOVE this pic of my brother, Mike, and my mom!!

* Yep, I know it's Tuesday, but it's been a busy weekend and my kids just got back to school from a 4 day weekend


Heather (GurleeGirrl) said...

It's awesome that you and your brother were able to work together to allow you mom to make the reception!

The pictures are great - the ones with your brother especially. Nice memories were made.

yaya said...

What a great post. I'm glad your Mom had a wonderful time..I love Neil too! But the pics of your brother and her are so special. I love the last one. Very sweet. She looked lovely BTW!

Donna said...

Great pics, Miss Cindy! Making memories...but where are YOU? ;)

Kerri said...

Your mom looks so pretty...and the pictures of her and your brother are so good! I'm glad everything went well...and that you and your family will have these memories. I always hope at weddings to hear sweet caroline....so glad you guys shared this moment. Your mom has good taste!

The Pawlak Family said...

I loved reading this blog entry and all that went on to get your mom to this very special day. The day was a blur, but your families love and presence was very noticeable! You ALL looked fabulous. Wish I had noticed that cute clutch your mom spotted!

Seems like just yesterday she was doing a reading at mine...So many good memories with your mom...so many more to come! Keep snapping those adorable photos.