A Day With Mom
July 29, 2009
I spent most of yesterday with Mom.
She started out in pretty good shape -- like many Alzheimer's patients, she's at her best in the morning. I got her talking about technology, because I love to hear when, where, and how she came to use things that we now take completely for granted and because it takes her mind off the things that are troubling her, like how her children have taken away her house.
For example, she vaguely remembers gas light being the main source of light in her grandparents' home, but more clearly remembers electricity being used for lighting. She remembers having two types of plumbing: indoor and outdoor, because both her parents' and grandparents' houses were originally built without indoor plumbing. (I remember a small shed directly in back of my gramma's house that was originally a pumphouse -- it literally contained a pump so you could get water close to the house!) And even though it's kind of a stereotype, she clearly remembers the outhouse containing a thick Sears catalog. Not for reading, mind you; for wiping.
I asked about telephones. She definitely remembered when her parents first got a telephone installed as being a very momentous day. There weren't many people to call, because there weren't many people with phones! They were on a party line for a long time, because that's how the line worked, and always went through a live operator to make a call.
I told Mom that I had her high school yearbook, the Brecky. It's her Senior yearbook, from 1928. The theme is "Technology," because Lucky Lindy made his flight across the Atlantic the previous year. She got very excited about that, and told me that she saw Lindbergh in person. He was speaking in Washington, so she made a special trip downtown to see him speak.
It was the best part of the day. I love having these conversations with Mom. She's more like herself -- funny, strong, happy. As the day went on, as we shuffled in and out of the car, in and out of chairs, in and out of doctors' offices, she began to fade. She's so frail. In a lot a ways she's like a baby or a toddler. I have to watch out for her every minute, I have to help her feed herself (she pretty much eats with her fingers, unless she's eating soup), I have to pull up her pants. I have to coddle her and be firm with her and hold her hand. It takes a long time for her to do anything.
And yet, we have these fascinating conversations!
It just occurred to me -- since I write so much about my Mom, does that make me a mommyblogger?
I guess not.