Sunday, March 15, 2020 late afternoon
Like many who are no longer permitted to visit loved ones in nursing homes, I’m concerned about my mom feeling alone. However, I trust that staff have tried to explain the coronavirus situation to those residents who are still able to have a conversation. Not that Mom will remember, but I’m confident staff will inform her any time she wonders where her daughter is.
Visitors or no visitors, I know Mom will be eavesdropping on any conversations within range, a favorite hobby of hers. She has always been fascinated with people coming and going, staff having conversations, and suspenseful movies and TV shows.
Below: Mom enjoying one of the birthday cupcakes friend Susan made for me.
A week ago, a Disney movie was being played. I don’t remember which one, but I do remember that Mom was quite absorbed in what she was seeing.
There was a young female character trying to find another character, and she had to enter a dark forest. Mom spoke up. “Don’t go,” she told the young lady. “Don’t go!” she said again. “I told you not to go!”
Seeing her so absorbed, I naturally reminded her that it was a Disney movie and not real. Hearing me interrupt her reality once again, she looked at me and said, “I know!” as if I were nuts.
In recent weeks there have been more and more times when I see Mom sleeping or holding her head. It’s not unusual for her to get sleepy after a meal, and I think she is still their champion night owl.
Once she recovered from her winter cold, she was back to using a walker with assistance from a staff member. The weekend staff, however, usually have her in her wheelchair. She doesn’t seem to mind either way.
Following directions as in left or right…as in putting a hand in a sweater sleeve…as in recognizing what items are on her served lunch plate, that is all getting worse.
Sometimes she will pour a bit of coffee on food items, reach for a used Kleenex with her fork, offer her food to others at the table, and use her fingers to eat pieces of meat or sliced buttered carrots. I interrupt if I see her doing the Kleenex routine, but other than that, I try not to tell her what to do with the food on her plate. Usually she is quite content and I just watch while chatting with others near us.
The last time I left her she was starting to nod off after lunch. I told her I needed to stop at Walmart to pick up some things. She nodded that she understood. I gave her a kiss on her forehead, put on my coat, and as I was leaving her neighborhood, I realized that I forgot to say, “I love you,” as I usually do.
That was the last time I saw her. I miss her and think of her throughout each day.