Wednesday, September 7, 2011



Logan and I film my mom singing and dancing.  We ask her to spell some words for us, which she can do magnificently. Towards the end of the tape we ask her a few questions.  My mom puts on quite a show like you wound her up and said go, Ruthie go.   I find the brain so fascinating to see all that she can do, and all that she cannot remember.  We play it back to her on her TV and she is laughing and having so much fun watching it.  She keeps saying "look at her sing "not realizing that it is her. The film seems a little hard for my mom to follow.  I explain to my mom that it’s her, not really sure that she understands, because she has no memory of just being filmed.  

 It amazes me that at one second she may act like a lost child, and then there is the flip side of how sharp, feisty and quick humored she is.  When she is" in the be here now zone" it’s like my mom is whole and complete.  And when she’s not she seems so confused, bewildered and childlike.

 On Saturday night we take my mom out to dinner again. This time we will be celebrating her birthday which she repeats over and over that she was born on August 24th, 1924 (although she does not know how old she is).  Both nights when we return in my brother’s car she is totally confused about where we are.  When I tell her that it is her home she replies that it is not.  My brother Gil says she’s confused because she is usually in bed by 6PM and it is now way past her bed time.  Before my brother arrived to take us out my mom kept asking  “who’s coming” and I  would say Gil.  My mom would then say “my boyfriend is coming” and I answer “no your son Gil.”  She then wonders  how Gil is related to her. "Hey mom, you’ve been singing over and over again ,  I’m Getting Married in the Morning.   I think you have posted boyfriend on your mind” and we both laugh.  I’ve also heard Ruthie think that Gil is her husband. This probably makes perfect sense since he is the only significant man in her life now.  One minute she’s confused and a second later she’s so aware that she tells me that my bra strap was showing.  I look at her with love and smile as she brings warmth to my heart.

 While in my brother Gil’s car for two days in a row, she is quite aware that my brother is driving and she keeps telling me not to speak to him so he can concentrate . Mom keeps shouting to him to drive with two hands.  She seems so aware and so much in the present as if she did not have Alzheimer's at all.

On our drive back to my mom’s house from the restaurant I tell my mom that Logan and I will be going back home tomorrow.  She asks "why "and asks me where my home is.  I tell her New York and she looks confused and says that she also lives in New York.  I explain to her that she use to live there and for the past twenty three year resides in Florida where all the palm trees grow.  I ask her to look outside the car window to see the palm trees.  She does, and says nothing.

I noticed in her kitchen that there are three green glasses lined up on her counter while several of the same glasses are in her kitchen cabinet.  I ask her if she would like me to put them away and she answers” no” and explains that she likes the way they look. This is something that she never would have left out before.  It is interesting how she has them displayed right next to each other in a straight line, reminding me of tin soldiers standing tall and erect.

I took my mom several times into her living room to get her away from her television. She use to like to watch the news , which she then traded for comedy shows .  Now my brother has told me she just has the sound on and doesn’t even bother to change the station.  Is it that she can’t remember what happens right after it happens? Can she not concentrate?  I’m not really sure.  I wonder if my mom wonders who she was.  Or is it who she has become?  What did she find funny or sad before?  Was she happy? All these memories that she had accumulated for so many years seems to have all vanished.  I wonder if she could recall only one thing what might it be.  Getting married?  The day she met my father?  Giving birth to my brother or me?  I guess she and I ,will never know.

While she looks out she sees the water behind her apartment and says what a beautiful view and how she loves the glistening of the sun off the ripples of the water.  She then starts to tell me about all the men that were flirting with her on the plane.  Recently on occasion she has mentioned men that flirt with her.  I wonder what this is all about, what meaning or significance it has to her since she repeats this frequently.  Anyway I listen happily to her stories, so glad she has some imagination to share.

My mom asks me if I miss Logan and I say “why would I miss him he’s still here” and we both laugh.  I take out my journal to write so I will not forget what she just said and my mom says” why are you writing so much”?  I reply "I’m writing about you" and she asks “why?  I’m just ordinary why write about me.”  No mom there is nothing ordinary about you. You are one super special lady. You are my mom and even more today and forever, my hero !

1 comment:

  1. After mom's surgery I and a nurse were helping her onto the potty and she got this wild wicket look in her eyes and said, "I spent the night with Wayne last night." and giggled. Obviously she spent the night at the rehab, but she was convinced she spent it with her male friend. Later she said it was storming and she'd been watching t.v. with him and he said to just sleep over on the couch rather than go back to her apt and be scared. Probably happened sometime while she lived across the hall from him, but not in the past 6 months. It's wicked how their brain retains some memories and put them out of order. Your mom might be stuck in a date she had as a kid waiting for someone to pick her up. One lady at a nursing home told me her husband was out farming and would be home later. That she had a lot of kids but couldnt remember their names because she hadn't seem them in so long. The nurse later told me her husband had been dead 40 years. Sad.