Sunday, August 29, 2010

I have a close friend who lost her Dad to Alzheimer's not long ago. She also took care or her father at home, so naturally our families spent time together. And we got to know her father well. She brought her Dad, with his electric shaver in his back pocket, over to our family BBQ. (This was during the time he would wake everyone up shaving at 2am., so she thought if he had the shaver with him at all times, they might be able to get some sleep.)

So, naturally I did not think about getting a sitter for Mom, when she asked us out to dinner to meet her son's new girlfriend.
Everything was fine until we all put our folded menus on the table. Mom was sitting across from the new girlfriend who was wearing a low cut top.

"BOOBIES, BOOBIES....LITTLE, LITTLE BOOBIES PEEKING OUT!", she shouted as she bounced her own boobs up and down.
"That's o.k. Let them come out...."

Thank God that the girl is studying to be a Marriage Family Therapist. We all laughed and thankfully the new girl has a great sense of humor.

Dinners were ordered, wine poured and we talked. But no one really included Mom in the conversation among 8 people.
I never thought that it would bother her because sometimes she has long quiet spells. When the waitress came with her dinner and tried to place it in front of her, another outburst. "GOD DAMM IT, JESUS CHRIST, SON OF A BITCH! I CAN'T EAT THAT!"

I consider myself more than lucky to have such good friends in such circumstances, but I think dinners with Bea at that restaurant will be far and few from now on.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Butterfly Jacket

As I passed my mother's room the other afternoon, she whispered, "Come in, come in. I want to show you something."
She took the Butterfly Jacket out of her closet.

Now i need to describe this jacket. It must be one- of -a-kind. Three inch butterflies cover black silk on the front and back. To top it off the entire coat is trimmed in red braiding. I bought it for her at a second-hand store. She doesn't care, but if she were in her right mind she never would accept anything used. My mother wants to wear it every day.

"How do you like it?,she asked.


"I made it you know."

"Oh, that must have taken a lot of time - so many butterflies.. How did you do it?

" It took a lot of time. I had to sew all these shiny things on..."

"The sequins?"

"Yes, the sequins. Here would you try it on? Just for the fun of it."

She always loved clothes and jewelry. And "Just for the fun of it " was a common phrase when new clothes came in the house growing up.She wanted us give her a fashion show, elementary school through high school. I hated it, but now I would gladly try the Butterfly Jacket on for her. And I even added the rhinestone earrings.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Can I wear these to bed?

Mom has long ago forgotten the word,"earring", but she is still very concerned about her appearance. Late every afternoon I wake her up, telling her it's "cocktail hour". ( She gets 1 glass of wine and cranberry juice thereafter - but Mom never knows the difference)

Her immediate response,"Cocktails? Oh, good,"What am I going to wear? You'll have to help me..."

That was really an aside, this is tonight's real story.....
Tonight she found a pair of silver earrings on her bedside table. She insisted on trying them on and smiling at herself in the mirror. I told her she would probably like to wear them to dinner tomorrow with her son,"Chuckie, my boy".

( Isn't it something that she still recalls her only son, yet thinks that I am just another caretaker, no relation, even though she lives with me 24/7?)

Then she asked in a sweet childlike voice, "Can I wear these to bed?"

"Sure!." I almost cried. She is still my mother and she is here physically, but someone else has invaded her brain. I know I will miss her terribly when she is gone, yet there are days when I wish I were anywhere but here. Her slowness in moving,short-term memory loss I don't want to stop living because she is dying....
Some days seem easy, today is not one of them.