Today was the day that I was going to get Mom out for a car ride, but it is cold and damp out and I know that she will not enjoy it so I have switched gears and just decided to spend the day with her and talk with her hospice nurse who comes every Thursday.
I went to Costco yesterday and bought her a beautiful fall bouquet of flowers and a bag of Halloween candy for her and the staff. She hasn’t been following our book reading as of late, so I brought her Midwest magazine so she can page through the cookies section.
I find her at the church service and she is sitting by herself and gives me a small smile. I can tell she isn’t sure who I am, which happens every so often. She wants to know if they are for her and if her sister sent them. I told her that I bought them for her and she is confused, thinking that I am delivering them. I remind her, “It’s Jodi, Mom”. We sit face to face, off to the side and I can tell I am coming back to her. I love that quick moment when she realizes it is me.
I have brought her the candy, grab us some coffee and we wait for her hospice nurse. There is a lot of activity going around and she starts eating a Snicker’s and then grabs a cookie too. I sit by a woman I know, Jean and we share cookies together. It’s almost like coffee and Circle time at her church and we talk a little about Fron and how she misses it and the people.
Her hospice nurse arrives and we talk about Mom quietly, off to the side. She seems to be shrinking every day. Just getting every so smaller and her voice is quieter. I think she knows we are talking about her and asks if she can have the cheese and crackers in front of her. She is really eating and I am surprised but happy to see her enjoying food. I voice to the nurse my concerns. Weight loss, the constant wheelchair and how she leans to the left all the time. She has also noted how quiet her voice seems. Mom’s nurse is a gift. We do the same nursing work, she answers my questions and understands the progression of this disease, just as I do. She is gentle, kind and I confess to her that I wish my brother would come and see her. Mom smiles at her too, which is wonderful.
Mom is ready for bed at 11 AM and I take her to her room and transfer her into her chair. She has been having trouble with word find today and I catch her starring at me. I am rambling on like I do with her. I am talking about Sophia’s hockey and how she made Math Masters, I am telling her how proud I am of Emme and her reading skills and we talk about how tomorrow is Halloween. I am going on and on and she stops me…
“I like you”
I stop talking and look at her. “I like you too, Mom”. I know that she was trying to find the word love, but like comes out instead. I can tell that she isn’t sure who I am again and she looks at the flowers that I put by the bed. I wonder if she still thinks I am the flower delivery person. I stop telling her about our family “stuff” and we end up watching Channel 2 before she goes to lunch.
It’s hard when Mom forgets me. I know it is normal in the progression but try and tell my heart that. I try and remember how lucky I have it with Mom. She doesn’t hit out, she’s calm and polite. One of the aides told me last week that my Mom is one of her favorites. Teasing, I told her she says that to all the families. She said no and told me why. She said no matter what we are doing together, your Mom always says Thank You. I can imagine that they don’t hear that often. I love that she shared that with me.
Day 49 of Hospice
Jodi/Flower Delivery Girl