It’s been a while since I have been able to write or even have wanted to write. There are things that happen with Mom’s care that I feel are appropriate to write about or not. Many things I stay private about and other things that occur, seem to just flow into a story. This story is one that I have chosen to share but I needed to figure out how to tell it without it seeming contrived.
Over the last few weeks, Mom has had really good days and days that I really wish would move on into the next day. It’s Christmas time, her favorite time of year and I wonder if that is the cause of her worry and concern. On my visits, she has been asking the same questions, over and over again and my answers stay the same.
*Has Ross been here? Have I missed him?
*I’m worried about Bud, have you seen him?
*You know I need to get back to Howard Lake. I’m late.
I answer that Ross (her son) is just fine, please don’t worry. Bud (her brother) is also fine, I can call him and see if he can come over to see you. I let her know that I can take her to Howard Lake when it gets warmer, but it is currently too cold out. We have talked about her questions fifty times in the last weeks.
This week, I brought her to her room and tucked her in for a nap. She was tired, anxious and I felt I was not helping her very much with her concerns. When I put her blanket over her, she asked if I would lie with her. I have been doing that lately since it seems to calm her. She moves over a little and I crawl in. I can hear her relax and she always grabs my hand. I’m left listening to the building noise and her falling asleep. I can see her Christmas cards on the wall and so grateful for the people who sent them. I can hear alarms going off in the distance and see one of the men, Melvin pop in and ask if I’ve seen his daughter. I can see the birdhouse outside her window and I know the birds wonder where I’ve been. I wonder if Mom and I will break her bed with our weight. It has come full circle.
Earlier in the morning, Emme, my six year old, did the same thing. She had a bad dream and wanted me to crawl in with her. She is also nervous, scared and wanting to be close to me. I end up letting her crawl into our bigger bed. How strange that this happens on the same day. Eighty-two years separate the two of them and both of them needing my comfort. This is what a “sandwich generation” is all about. My children and my mother.
It seems like yesterday that I crawled in with my own Mom. I remember their bedroom so vividly. The gold comforter sprawling over their twin beds pushed together. I can still smell the whiff of Charlie perfume, mingled with my Dad’s outfits and his smoke smell. I can still see the willow tree outside and it would reach my parents window with its limbs, making the softest noise. Enough to think there was someone outside and me being scared all over again. I see my Mom pulling back the covers and me cuddling with her warm body. To a young girl, that was heaven. It didn’t happen often, but enough for me to remember this wonderful memory.
Now, I’m in her bed doing the same thing. I felt a little strange a first but I recognize that she also needs this warmth. She has her blue puppy on one side, and me on the other. The fog of this disease just goes on and on. Pray that we don’t break her bed…
In conclusion, I was told yesterday that M. died of a stroke this week. If you remember in past blogs, she was the one who slapped my Mom and was really the only one that I told my kids to watch out for. She was so unpredictable. My heart was sad to hear this. This disease really touches so many, and who M was today is not reflective of who she was five or even ten years ago. She was a mother, daughter, sister and I am sure had many friends who loved and supported her. And she taught my Emme a lot of language that she hasn’t heard yet. RIP, M.