Mom’s AL community served High Tea this afternoon for Mother’s Day. The table settings were eclectic, charming, and fit the occasion perfectly. We greeted mom at her apartment with a bouquet of flowers from our garden, and a card. She was especially delighted with the lilacs. I observed and commented on a flower bedecked hat on mom’s coat tree. She said she’d made it for me for the garden. I wore it to tea!
Before we headed down the event, mom excused herself to use the bathroom, and again used the loo without closing the door. This, more now than before, feels symptomatic as my husband was there. Again, mom is no prude, but she would have considered other peoples’ sensibilities about an open bathroom in the past.
On our way to the elevator mom’s gait was very ‘shuffley’ when we walked at her speed, and seemed to lengthen as I picked up the pace. I noticed her pants were too long for her, increasing her fall risk, and that they were stained with pink paint (Yay art class!). I’ll be buying her new pants next week.
A pianist played during tea. While this made it challenging to hear each other, it was also a lovely distraction. We kept conversation going in snippets, always aiming to entertain mom. It seems that we were successful. She only mentioned the Island once, but it was in reference to her waffle iron. Zero mention about going home. Other than asking if we’d see my youngest daughter (also a mom), and my mother-in-law, mom didn’t initiate much conversation other than to say, “I don’t know if there’s a program here today” a few times. We assured her that having tea and listening to music was a lovely program. She didn’t respond one way or another to our assurances.
After almost two hours I stealthfully texted my husband that perhaps he needed to get back to work… He created our exit with grace.
I am almost over the pain of mom’s loss of independence. It helps that she hasn’t been aching to return home, arguing even. My current struggle is that I don’t enjoy spending much time with her, or my ability to smile and glance around the room while having nothing more to talk about is severely limited. I’m not beating myself up, just wishing it was different. As we stood up to go, which mom seemed to understand completely, I asked if she wanted to stay and listen to the music. She all but snipped, “No I don’t.” We walked her to her elevator, which happened to be going up. She asked me what day it was. I clued her in, gave her a hug and a kiss, and got her on the lift. We walked around the building and took the stairs to the garage and returned home.
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