Yesterday I went out to Bickford after church, and brought both Mom and Dad some of the wonderful honeydew melon I got at Kroger’s. A sweet honeydew is hard to find, and this one is outstanding. I cut some chunks up, and put them in ziplock bags with plastic forks. When I entered the memory care area, the aide-in-charge told me that Mom was sleeping. Often Mom and I have the best visits when she is in bed. We hold hands, exchange loving looks and say little. It’s as if we are underwater, and our speech is garbled by the dense water between us. But we see each other, and love each other, and the blocks to our full communication don’t matter.
I entered the room, to find that Mom was totally conked out on the bed. I hated to wake her, so I took off my sandals, climbed on the bed and curled against her back. Her left arm moved behind her and she patted my hip. How restful it is to disengage from the otherwise hustling day, I thought, especially when Mom knows I’m here. I closed my eyes and half dozed, and for 20 minutes we lay together. Then I said softly, “Mom, I need to go now. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Her eyes opened and she looked at me. “Oh,” she said, “it’s you! I thought you were the dog.” We both laughed, and I most of all for imagining Mom knew it was me. I must say here that the my hip is not as furry as the dog’s! But she was very happy to see me and didn’t want me to leave, so we got her up, and I gave her a bite or two of the melon, which she said was delicious. After those few bites, though, she didn’t want any more. It’s interesting to see how little my parents want to eat these days. Small portions, please.
When I brought Dad some melon, he ate one, and then “saved” the rest for later. He decided that the remainder could be served to “his” table of five men. I figured each person might get three bites, but apparently that’s enough. The elderly do seem to live more in the moment; a taste is all they need to savor the flavor. More is not what they seek. Dad also told me that his refrigerator was not working, and since he wanted to watch the baseball game anyway, we walked down to his room. The refrigerator was running fine, but the temp was on the high side. I turned the temperature down, and the fridge immediately hummed in response. I told Dad that the fridge was fine, and he was impressed that I had “fixed” it. Next career for me: refrigerator repair! If you have a problem with your fridge, I highly recommend you call someone else.