Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mama Mia the Dancing Queen

I arrive at my mom’s on Tuesday Jan 5th, 2010 to find her looking surprisingly well.  She greets me at her door with her smiling face.  My brother is with me since he picked me up at the airport.  I tell her how good she looks and she answers upbeat and happy, “well I’m not so young for someone who looks so good”.  I account for how good she looks to Elaine her part time caregiver, who is now with my mom for 6 months. I notice how nice my mom’s nails are polished and ask if Elaine polished them for her.  At first mom says whose Elaine and then says” no, some other lady came to my house and did my nails.” I think to myself, okay mom and say nothing, knowing very well that it was Elaine who polished her nails.

On her bathroom walls are new signs since my last visit several months ago.  The signs say; Flush Toilet and Brush Teeth that my brother has made for her.  She starts to dance and asks where Bert, my husband is (who is her “official” dancing partner.)  Mom then starts to dance with my brother and me.  I tell my brother that whatever she is on (which is nothing) I’d like to take it also.  

Her dancing all started while visiting us in the summer of 2008. My son Logan took my mom to see the movie Mama Mia and then to lunch. My mom after that was dancing around each and every day until she left.  I never saw her do that.  She was dancing mostly with Bert, laughing, having a great time and counting 1-2, 1-2-3 and telling him to follow her lead.  After that for almost a year on the phone and while I had visited she would dance and tell me over and over again how she taught Bert how to dance.  She was so proud of herself (by the way Bert is a very good dancer).  This is how Ruthie got the official name of” Mama Mia the Dancing Queen”.

Later that day when Bert calls, I put her on the phone, and she tells him to wait and says to me” who is Bert”?   I answer and say my husband and she looks at me as if to say your husband ? Looking a little confused they seem to speak about 1-2, 1-2-3 their dancing steps that they had shared together.                   
It’s now 3 summers since we all danced together, and at moments when I ask her about how’s her dancing going, she rarely remembers it.  Those memories have slipped away. Yet Ruthie, sweet Ruthie seems so thankful and happy just to be alive, and she will always remain to me, Mama Mia the Dancing Queen.

1 comment:

  1. Last in, first out, is what I've read. My mom remembers my husband, but there are days she hasn't a clue who Jerry is, so when i say my husband, her eyes flash and recognition returns. I imagine your mother's memories have been lost for at least the last 3 years and that's why the dancing is gone. Moms too so she doesn't remember her last 3 grandchildren being born and it's hard for her to realize my oldest is a father. The last real memory she has is of my other son's wedding the summer before Jeff's little boy was born in December. So I can kind of place where she's at in memory lost, about 3 1/2 years. Once the older son's wedding is gone, we'll be back 4 years.