Wednesday, November 9, 2011

old friends

Some of Mom's sorority sisters are going to be taking her out for lunch tomorrow. When I told her that yesterday, she could not gather her thoughts around the meaning of those words. It was so hard to see that.

These ladies all went to "teachers' college" together in the 1950's. It's wonderful that after so many years, they still get together once or twice a year. And it is wonderful that they are willing to travel way up there to see Mom, to still include her.

When it all finally clicked in Mom's mind, her next reaction was:
"I don't have anything to wear."
"Yes, you do Mom, you have a whole closet of nice clothes."
"Those clothes aren't mine. They were left over from somebody else."  So we proceeded to have a round and round conversation/argument about whose clothes are in her drawers and closet. (Divert!!)
"Let's go pick out an outfit for you to wear to lunch on Thursday."
"When? Who's coming?"
"Some of your sorority sisters are coming on Thursday. Look I wrote it on your calendar, today is Tuesday, in two days you'll go out to lunch."
"What day is today?"
"Today is Tuesday (pointing to the TUES on the digital clock) in two days you'll go out to lunch. Your sorority sisters are coming on Thursday. Look I wrote it on your calendar ."
Why does this conversation still surprise me?  Mom hasn't known her days and time for over two years.

I got out Mom's college year book and found the group photo of the sorority.  I read off some of the names of some of the ladies I think will be visiting. "Look, here's Annie and Lauren and Margaret and Irma and you."  She cradled the yearbook in her arms. Running her finger over the photo and pointing out people. This was something familiar. She reclined on her bed, cuddling the book, looking at all the young women wearing their sorority blazers and dark skirts. It was like she was hugging her teddy, comfort and familiarity.  What will she think tomorrow when six gray-haired ladies come to take her out for lunch?

My husband asked me if my Mom knows when I'm coming to visit her. Meaning, do I call her in the morning to let her know that I'll be there later that day?  No, I haven't done that in years, I just show up. Why call her and tell her I'm coming, and then have her worry for the next few hours that I'm not there; or have her forget altogether that I was coming and had called in the first place.

"I have a photograph, Preserve your memories, They’re all that’s left you..." Old Friends by Simon & Garfunkel

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