Crystal ball gazing

Yesterday I slept late; I had watched the Oscars Sunday night, and I don’t handle staying up late too well. I was emerging from slumber, vaguely aware I was awakening, when I heard footsteps coming down the hall. “Mom!” I cried out, with some sense that it was Mom, and that it was urgent I get her attention, that I catch her before she was gone. My voice wakened me the rest of the way, and there was my husband, getting ready to go to the dentist on an ordinary day. What led to my calling out? I don’t know, but I was surprised to hear myself, and that I had such a desire to talk to her. I think I miss my mom.

Today was discouraging in the Mom department. It’s bath day for Coco, which means that it’s Waffle Day, and both Mom and Dad expressed enthusiasm for going out to Big Boy. I arrived at Bickford about 7:45, got Mom and Coco into the car, and my sister following behind with Dad. They went to the Big Boy first, while Mom and I dropped off Coco, who whined and whimpered all the way to the vet’s, poor thing. Then Mom and I joined Dad and my sister at the restaurant, and got our order in. Our drinks came first; Mom then proceeded to dip my empty Splenda packet into my coffee, and carefully leaned the damp packet against my cup. “Why, thank you, Mom. It was crucial to get that done.” We all, excepting Dad, laughed; Dad can’t hear and wouldn’t think it was funny anyway. Mom was exactly like a very large two-year-old during breakfast. She was bored, couldn’t remember why we were sitting there, and continued to poke, stroke and tickle me until at last breakfast came. “M-m-m-m,” she said, upon tasting the first bite of waffle. The effort to get her there was worthwhile. As long as she was eating, all was well. Once she was finished, though, it was time to put more stuff in my coffee (to be funny–ha ha, Mom), tickling, poking, and pouring sweetener on the table; if my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter was doing this, I would have removed her to a place she would be happier. Mom’s too big to carry out, though, and she hates to be out in the cold anyway.

So I paid the bill, and we drove back to Bickford. Mom wanted to know if she “will be staying in [your] bed?” No, I told her, we’re going back to Bickford to your room where you and Coco live. “Well, I want to be sure to find the uncle.” The uncle, eh, Mom? “Do you mean Dad?” No. She meant The UNCLE. We headed on up Jefferson Ave., me none the wiser. Mom then commented casually, “I can’t see into the future.” She was gesturing down the road, so I’m pretty sure she meant she couldn’t see very far ahead of us because of her eyesight, but I almost said, “Don’t worry, Mom, none of us can.”

Back at Bickford, and down the hall toward Mom’s room. Dad came in behind us, and thanked my sister and me for the trip out for his favorite breakfast food. Mom and I reached her room, and she immediately wanted the bathroom. She entered and sat herself down, muttering at her bladder, “Well, why don’t you do something if you wanted to come in here?” Then came a little trickle and she was done. I handed her some toilet paper, and she looked at it blankly. “Mom, you need to wipe.” Mom dabbed at the top of her thighs. I demo-ed how she should wipe, got much more involved than I wanted to, but finally she got it right. “Put the paper in the toilet, Mom.” She didn’t know what a toilet was, and reached to throw the paper in the wastebasket. I told her no, the toilet, and showed her how discard the paper. She was surprised, had never done this before. My sister arrived at that moment and we were able to figure out that the reason Mom’s bladder wasn’t cooperating was that it had already emptied into the brief she was wearing. Dear sister sent me out of the bathroom–”you’ve put up with enough for today”–and finished up the change to clean briefs. I stood in Mom’s room and thought, ” I can see into the future, Mom, and I hate what I see.”

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3 Responses to Crystal ball gazing

  1. lindamortensen says:

    Hate is the right word for it. I’m feeling your pain and dread.

  2. Helga says:

    Yes, Kathy, you ARE missing your mom and as you miss her terribly, you are having to deal with the shell that is left behind. There is a wisp of Mom still in there, but she can’t get out any more. I’m crying as I write, so I will stop. Wish so much I could change things for you.

  3. Kathy says:

    Thanks to both Linda and Helga, two tender women. Helga, your tears honor my mother, and your own. Wish I could change things for you, too.

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