Thanksgiving 2016 ~ Day Four

Mom and I measured the furniture she identified as destined to return to the Island. Again, the exercise felt like a farce. But, my job now, as I interface with her about this project, whose subtext is to get the house ready to lease, is that of a cheerleader, rather than a pragmatist. If she wants all her books, and 15 pieces of, mostly small, furniture back in her Island home, it’s my job to facilitate, even if I know her ability to live independently is fast coming to a close.

She did say she needed to go through her books and edit the collection (about 1000 books). As we sat in the family room, I asked her if she’d like to pull the chairs over to the cookbooks and start there, just a couple of shelves. She got two books in and found a hysterically funny volume of cooking quotes, some of them hundreds of years old. She read them out loud, and we both laughed. After 20 minutes, she looked at me and said, “We’re not getting very far with the project.” I said that the book in her hand was a keeper, and she agreed. As she was reading, I causally looked at a few volumes and culled things like, ‘Spanish Wines of 2005 and 2006,’ and ‘English Tea Time,’ filled with recipes of cakes that she will never in a million years set about to baking. I returned a few books to the shelf that, while she will never crack their covers, are from friends and family. Being able to make a stack of books to pass on, right in front of mom while she read aloud, is symptomatic of dementia. She can only focus on one thing at a time. I set the small stack of books on a different shelf as I headed back to my place for a few hours.

We again took dinner to mom’s. While I prepped things, I threw out items like rancid antique olive and peanut oils, and targeted things she doesn’t need/use, for a purge tomorrow after I return from taking her to the ferry.

Today’s memory challenges have been about what ferry she’s catching tomorrow morning, and what we were doing for dinner. The ferry departure we chose, despite writing it down, has caused a dozen queries today, and dinner plans, half a dozen more. She even forgot that she’d decided to leave tomorrow. Gentle redirection is working for me and her.

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