Community Christmas Dinner

The overview: We joined mom for the community Christmas dinner the afternoon of the 21st. The meal was amazing, well crafted, and filling (I had a tangerine for dinner that evening!). Mom was doing pretty good. She was in a peaceful space, and delightful company.

Out intention was to arrive at mom’s apartment 15-minutes before the meal was served. While not our best excuse for being late, the cat barfed as we were walking out the door. I am OCD about certain things… Among them, visual clutter, consolidation of like items across my life, and, for sure, cat barf. After addressing the cat’s transgression we heading out only to land in our interstate parking lot. At this point I emailed the community asking them to let mom know we were running late.

We arrived to mom’s apartment and found this note:

I can make out the first line, and a couple of addition words, besides the “Love Mom,” which I am so thankful she is still able to pen somewhat legibly. It’s interesting that she retains the ability to write numbers, and knew the date!

I took a lightening peek into the fridge. There aren’t any molding perishables any longer. Lots of half sipped water bottles, and some very old cat ear medicine. This leads me to believe, along with her unused credit cards, that her mobility, and perhaps her advancing illness, is keeping her from attending the Tuesday outings to the drug store and grocery.

We both noticed that mom was looking more put together. Her hair was clean, as was her sweater. Her hair is getting long. I now know where my Speed Racer hair growth comes from! I haven’t see my mom with shoulder length hair since I was a young child. It’s kind of sweet. She must be cutting her bangs as there hasn’t been a salon fee on her monthly community bill. This is a tad curious as there are so many signs of her simply not being self-aware about such things. I am reminded of the time my eldest child came home from preschool with a bangs chop-job. When I asked her why she’d done such a thing, she replied, “I couldn’t see through them.” Perhaps this simple practicality is an override with mom.

Mom’s tremor was less noticeable.

Mom asked about Christmas plans, and increasingly so as we were getting ready to leave. The question had slightly different angles each time, until we were saying goodbye, when it stuck that we’d pick her up for Christmas. Then her questions shifted to time, would we bring her back to the community, where were we going, etc. Through all of this I found it interesting that she knew Christmas was approaching (but never knew the day). Is that due to the cues around the community? The short days? What?

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