Friday, September 5, 2014

I love the brief moments of clarity…

Mom’s routine continues.  Her aide awakens her in the morning and gets her dressed and then she has breakfast in the dining room with all of the residents.  After that, the majority of the twelve residents gather in the living room for the morning news, exercise and one or more activities.  Mom sits in her rocking chair there with a view of the entire area.  Although she doesn’t participate in the activities any longer, she holds her baby and watches everything happening around her as the morning progresses, snoozing here and there.  Twice each week her morning routine is disrupted briefly for a shower which makes her tired and she snoozes more.
Snoozing after her morning shower.
Lunch time arrives and typically she is ready to go in the dining room and eat.  The times she refuses lunch are very few and far between.  She may be 98 but she still eats well, just small portions.

There are more activities in the afternoon either in the living room or the TV area.  Her preferred seating in either area allows her a view of the comings and goings of the staff and visitors.  It’s very different from when she lived with my brother and later, me.  At our homes she spent all of her time looking out the windows, watching everything happening in the neighborhood.  Now her neighborhood is indoors and has enough activity to keep her interested.

Five o’clock comes and it’s time for dinner.  Again, Mom eats well.  My sister reports that sometimes she has to remind her how to start eating but she seems to take off well once started.

Evening is more time for sitting and watching until it’s time to get ready for bed.  Days flow one into another with the routine. 

While her days may be consistent, we never know exactly what we’ll find day to day.  Mom, for the most part, is past her combative stage, although it will pop up here and there, mainly at shower time.  She is definitely past her anxious stage – at least what seemed anxious for my very laid back Mom.  She typically smiles at everyone and I hear that she is pleasant.  I know when I arrive she is always pleasant.  She just doesn’t always know who I am.

I always carry my tablet and I use it to show Mom pictures of family.  I start with her “momma” and “daddy” because she can always recognize at least one of them, usually both.  I move on to pictures of Daddy or her and Daddy and mention that he is her husband and my daddy with each picture.  I tell her that she is my mommy and I am her daughter.  Her response varies each time but if she didn’t recognize me as “hers” when I arrived, she usually knows by the time I leave.

If things are going well, I’ll move on to pictures of me and my siblings and I go through the names.  I was at that point the other day when, in a brief moment of clarity, Mom looked at me and said, “You were named after my mom.”  Indeed I was!  My middle name comes from my grandma’s middle name!

She is seldom “here” but when she is, it pulls at my heartstrings.