IT'S A REALLY GOOD DAY
I found myself intrigued this week with my phone calls to my mom. They were filled with much affection and some bursts of laughter . They were also lighthearted, as well as sentimental, except for the one day which mom had a "substitute"caregiver.
Elaine and Trudy had something special to do for a day, and they could not bring my mom along as they usually do. They replaced themselves with a family friend. She seemed to be quite kind, caring and attentive to mom. Yet if mom could share what she was thinking, I think it would be a little different ; she seemed baffled and confused. Maybe in some ways she also felt abandoned, although she said nothing.
Mom was quite sharp, somewhat feisty and filled with lots of energy. Yet as we spoke she also sounded a little annoyed at the situation. Somehow we got into the conversation about her children and how many she gave birth to. She insisted that she had many. I questioned her on" how many is many?" Her reply was " too many to count." "Okay mom, how many children did you want?" She replied "none."" I then asked if she had a choice on sexes, what would she have wanted. She quickly answered,"boys and girls, one of each." That was good because that is exactly what mom did have."Well mom how many girls do you have ?" "One." My final question on this subject was, "and how many boy's do you have?" and she answered "ten."
I really could not stop laughing for she was as serious as could be. If mom sounded delusional, I'm certain that this conversation would have greatly upset me .Yet not this day, for mom did not sound lost or confused. She sounded rather strong and filled with conviction. I guess I could say like my "old" mom.
The following day when Trudy returned in the morning, mom greeted her at her front door, by giving her a big hello and saying how nice it was to see her. I'm sure that mom was once again feeling safe and secure, for when I spoke to her, she told me that she was feeling" very good ." "That's great for I am feeling the same." Mom then said "if you're feeling good, and I'm feeling good, then it's a really good day."
As she brought a smile to my face and warmed my heart, I knew that once again, mom could hear the sound of birds singing. I could tell that she felt a sense of security, and the affection from her caregivers.
My brother and and I are so fortunate to have such wonderful caregivers,who take such special care of Ruthie. I do not know what we would do without them. They have become her lifelines.
For all the families that have a parent,spouse or grandparent with Alzheimer's, we all in one way or another become their caregivers. This is not an easy thing to be, and at moments are hearts can feel broken. Hopefully at other times, we can find some happiness in what we have left to share with them.
This for me is how I choose to live. I cherish the time that I still have left to share with her. If I once again quote my mom, she would say "that today for her was a REALLY good day."
I am adding onto my blog post a conversation my brother had with mom the day after election day. It is so precious, and I hope that it will put a big smile on you face as it did for me.
G: Mom, we elected a president last nite
Mom: A president?
M: Who? Roosevelt?
G: no mom, not Roosevelt
G: Barack Obama
M: Barack Obama? What kind of crazy name is that?. I never heard of him.
Write it down for me so I can remember it
G: OK Mom, have a great day