What Have You Done With My Real Mom???
Upon entering the community, mom was greeted like a VIP. We were ushered into the livingroom, (very good) coffee was placed in mom’s hand, and the executive director, Matt, was summoned. Mom and I sat down at a puzzle. Matt arrived, introduced himself, asked about the drive etc. I told mom that Matt was Daughter #2’s boss, and so if Daughter #2 got out of line, all mom had to do was talk to Matt. They both thought this was funny. Anything to get mom laughing!
We had lunch, a Waldorf salad. Mom’s only comment was it would be really good with blue cheese chunks on it. True enough. After lunch Matt took us up to see mom’s apartment. I could tell mom was impressed. Next was an activity (making tied fleece blankets for charity) for mom while I unloaded the car, and unpacked her into the apartment. Daughter #2, having returned from an assessment, helped me, and told me to take the suitcase and tote bags away with me. At the SNF, mom lived out of her suitcase. At first I thought it was in defiance of being at the SNF. Now I think it was so she’d remember where everything was. I did paperwork next, and then waited by the theater where mom was going to attend a lecture, by a prof from our university, on comparative religions. She didn’t show up for the lecture. I waited until 5 minutes past the start time, texted my daughter that I was heading out, and with a guilty heart, left.
The guilt was born of not saying good bye. I was assured, over and over, that mom wouldn’t remember my social faux pas. I was also told to take a couple of days off. This I did.
Mom spent the rest of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday engaged in activities, including going out to lunch with a bunch of ladies from the community, flower arranging, and multiple exercise classes each day. She found her way consistently to and from her apartment for meals, has enjoyed and complimented the meals, joined other residents at meals, has been bright, and sweet even. I asked my kiddo how this could be. The answer was: “Her needs are being met, and she’s mentally/socially engaged.” It’s a whole different mom!
There was one setback on Saturday morning, before me and my husband arrived to see mom. She couldn’t find her purse, and was in an uproar over it. When Daughter #2 arrived at work, she asked her grandmother if the purse could be in the locked cabinet drawer, where she’d been keeping it. Mom snipped that she’d looked there. Upon looking again, that is indeed where her purse was. During that time she was short with the medication tech to whom she snapped, “I don’t want you to watch me take my medication!” The tech smiled back and said, “I have to.” Mom complied.
Mom was happy with the new tops I bought for her, said the swimsuit would work, and is appreciative that I can hem two pairs of pants for her. She saved “I’m getting tired of being here” and “I don’t understand why I can’t be at home” for a moment when my husband was out of the room. It doesn’t surprise me that I am the recipient of these statements… She asked for the name of the community, and then asked if it was on the Island.
We went back downstairs where the next exercise class was getting underway. Sweet Home Alabama was playing. Mom started tapping her toe, we gave her hugs and kisses, and took our leave.