The Gathering & High Tea

Overall it went well. Mom walked in and handed my youngest daughter a bouquet of flowers with a broad smile and a “Happy Birthday!” Daughter #3’s birthday is in October. Daughter #2 leaned into her little sister and quietly said, “Grandma can’t keep it straight.” We did a fun round of birthday and Mother’s Day gifts and cards before settling down a wonderful meal, which everyone brought something for, making it easy.

My husband and I no longer need to spend time before a gathering making sure nothing in the house will trigger a catastrophic reaction in my mother. She’s past being triggered by objects. Example: My mother-in-law got water for herself and mom in glasses that were a piece of my childhood. Rather than place theses glasses in storage, I placed them in our cupboard, and let my husband know he was forbidden to break them. Mom looked at the glass after taking a sip, looked again seeming to recognize it, and then the moment was gone.

As everyone was getting ready to go, mom asked if I’d seen her keys. When I said I hadn’t, she pondered if they were at our place or her local house. I tried twice to explain why it was impossible for her keys to be at either house: “Mom, you haven’t been to either house since coming to Seattle, so the keys aren’t here, or at your place.” Even though she acknowledged she hadn’t been to either house, she couldn’t let go of the idea that the keys could be at one of the houses. I encouraged her to look around the apartment, and go through her purse. This was met with a testy, I’ve Done that!”

The following day, Mother’s Day, I joined mom at the AL community for High Tea. Evidently she was having a poor memory day, asking my daughter 16 time what we were going to do for Mother’s Day. When asked, “Here at the community or elsewhere?” Mom replied “You know, with the family.” My daughter reminded mom that we’d done that the prior evening. Funny thing is mom left me voice mail last Wednesday wishing me Happy Mother’s Day.

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