Monday, July 7, 2008

Little Celebrations

I went over to visit with Mom around supper time. She was seated at her seat in the dining room, folding and refolding a napkin. When I walked over, her face immediately lit up. Celebration number 1. I gave her a hug and sat down next to her. She went back to folding the napkin. The woman seated next to her told her she needed to visit with me. I assured her that it was okay, and that the fact that she recognized me had been reward enough for this visit. I teased Mom, telling her to make sure that napkin was folded perfectly. (She was always a perfectionist, and I could never fold a towel to her high standards.) I was rewarded when she made a face at me. Celebration number 2.

She looked at me, and sized up the skirt and shirt I was wearing. She ran her finger over them both and smiled. I said, “Do you like them?” She nodded. I thanked her. Celebration number 3.

Her meal came, and I encouraged her to eat. When I handed her the second half or her fish sandwich, she waved it off, saying, “I don’t want them.” She said a complete sentence to me, my fourth celebration of the visit.

I helped her to the bathroom, and after she had finished her supper, I helped her up and out into the living room. I said good bye, and promised to be back the next day. As I headed out, she began to cry. I went over and hugged her again, and repeated my promise to visit again.
As I left, she followed me to the door. She pushed against the locked door as I was trying to close it. At first I was afraid that she was trying to follow me. But when I turned to speak to her, she said, “I just wanted to say hi.” A long sentence. Granted, she said was confused about hi and bye, but it was a long, mostly appropriate sentence. I opened the door and gave her more hugs and kisses; then she willingly returned to her locked cottage. The fifth and biggest celebration of the evening.


Munchkin Mom said...

My mother has just recently lost the ability to communicate well. She starts sentences but doesn't finish them, she can't find the right word, and she gets frustrated and hyperventilates.

We are faced with the choice of medicating her for the stress and losing what is left.

I am glad you had so many celebrations on your visit.

Reverend Mom said...

Finding the right balance on the medication is hard. Mom is on an anti-psychotic to stop her wandering at night. It is only supposed to be given in the evening (without she'll wander the hall all night long). Sometimes, though she gets it in the morning, and then she's completely out of it. Good luck in finding the right balance for your mother. It is just so hard.

debinca said...

I am in awe of you both. Owl

Reverend Mom said...

We do what needs to be done, even when it's hard. We still grieve, but at times we move beyone the grief, at least momentarily. You'd do the same.