All Righty Then
Home Again

The Days Pass

It is over 70 degrees here, and sunny -- it's almost like Mother Nature is apologizing for drenching us last week. As soon as I finish this post I'm going to sit outside and enjoy it.

I went to visit Mom yesterday. I haven't written much about her lately because there hasn't been much to write. Everyone has been so kind to all of us, especially when we thought she was leaving us in September.

But once again, she fooled us all.

She is still extremely weak, as fragile as a brown fall leaf, yet she hangs in and hangs on. She gets dreams and reality increasingly confused, and now a new wrinkle has appeared.

She didn't know me at first.

Then again, I woke her up. It was mid-morning when I arrived and she was dressed, propped in a wheelchair in the hallway near the dining room. She looked at me and said, "Where's your mom?"

I said, "You're my mom!"

She looked puzzled; my heart sank. I sat down in front of her and asked if she knew who I was.

She thought a moment, then said, "Yes, you're... Mary."

I breathed again, but then she asked, "Where's Ruth?"

Ruth is her sister, who died in May of 2005.

I quickly said, "In heaven" and changed the subject. She was cold, so I put my jacket around her shoulders. She wondered where the front door was (probably planning an escape), so I wheeled her downstairs and showed her. We visited with the cat ("Ugly thing," opined Mom) and headed back upstairs to her room.

"I'm just waiting for Ruth," she said again.

I couldn't let it go this time. I held her hands and looked into her eyes.

"Mom, Ruth died four years ago, remember?"

And she remembered, and she looked so sad. So I picked up a Traditional Home magazine and we looked at the beautiful designer rooms and she perked up and the sadness dissipated.

In her dreams, my Aunt Ruth visits. So does my Pop. She spends the night in other homes, not in the nursing home on the air bed designed to prevent bed sores. Then she wakes up, they dress her and feed her and change her and sit her up in the wheelchair.

I am going to sit outside now, and talk to the cats, and then I might try to make some butterscotch. The recipe in the Joy of Cooking doesn't look too daunting. And then I must pack, because I fly to Dallas in the morning -- a business trip.

And the days pass.