Thursday, December 20, 2012
When I got to Mom's, she was still in bed. I could not rouse her. She grunted a "no" when I asked her to wake up and visit with me. She yelled a "no" when I asked her to get up and eat breakfast. She didn't respond when I asked her to wake up to look at the Christmas cards and gifts that she had received. The aide said Mom had grunted "five more" each time she asked Mom to get up that morning. We all like to sleep in "five more."
I have to remember to "be with her where she is."
I climbed onto Mom's bed and spooned her, stroking her hair and shoulder. We are not a pair of tea-spoons, that's for sure, more like two casserole spoons, I giggle to myself! I look down at the cat curled by Mom's knees, I see the bed post. It is the bed that I had as a child. How many times did Mom crawl into this bed and spoon me when I was little? How many times did she cuddle me, when I was sick with the chicken pox, the flu, or a broken heart?
The aides came in again and finally got Mom up and into the bathroom, where they helped her to wash-up and dress.
We "walkered" into the dining room and had a little breakfast. She must be prompted to eat, she seems to have lost her drive/motivation/initiative to eat. I guide her through her breakfast, handing her the glass, the toast, then fork, then glass... over and over.
We look at the new Christmas cards after breakfast. She can't open the envelopes, she can hardly open up the cards. Some names bring a smile, some bring blank stares.
People: please sign your cards and letters with more than your first name! Mom knows a lot of "Barbara's". I certainly don't recognize your handwriting, and I know she doesn't. Some dear-old-friends are gracious enough to write a sentence or two, to prompt an old Christmas memory and connection. "I was just remembering all the fun times we had decorating our second grade classroom for the holidays." "What sticky-fun we use to have making wreathes for the church fair." These small sentences really bring a smile to Mom's face. And they help me decode which "Barbara" you might be, so that I can help Mom recall happy holiday memories. But, thank you, thank you, for all the cards and letters. They bring me joy.