Missing Mum

I finally got to see my mum on the weekend.  Apparently, the warning they posted on the door doesn’t really apply.  The CDC said it was just a cold, the offending parties are in isolation and my mum’s floor was not affected.  Strange, I hadn’t seen her in a week due to my transcribing work and she didn’t really seem to notice that much.  I stepped off the elevator and I hear, “Hey!”.  That’s how she always greets me.  Sigh.  I missed her terribly, but she was her usual self.  She didn’t seem to mind that they had cancelled the Hallowe’en party either.   Even in her state, she recognizes the indignity of it all.  I guess that’s a blessing in a way.  I remember when she first went in the home and she would call me about 12 times a day weeping and asking me to take her home and then the nurses would call me saying she had hit someone or she was in a horrible mood.  Between her and the failed IVFs, I was feeling  (and looking) like a punching bag.

I had gone shopping for her earlier (something we used to do together) and she approved the new clothes.  Her pants don’t last very long.  They tend to use the hottest water there and it kills the elastic.  And now she needs more socks.  Mum likes to remove her clothes from her room and they end up elsewhere.  I guess I could buy her clothes at a thrift store instead of Sears, but that is something that we also used to do together.  The very thought of combing through racks at the Sally Ann (where I just might find some of her old stuff) is just too much.  Not to mention time consuming.  And musty.  When I was a child, she had only 5 dresses in her closet.  I want her to have new things all the time.

It was a lovely sunshiney day (so welcome after the torrential wind and rain the night before) so we went to our usual Starbucks and hubby and Juno came by.   My little family.  We watched the young people parade up and down Robson Street in various outfits.  She needs her hair done, too much grey; I had to cancel her appointment due the flu scare.  Her whiskers need trimming.  I used to think that caring for my mum was some sort of sad consolation prize for not having my own child.  Now, it’s just part of our lives.  We have long life in our family, so barring any sudden illness, she’s likely to be around for at least another 10 years.  And then I’ll be shaving my chin, too.

Caring for an infant will keep me pretty busy, but I don’t have to worry about missing visits with mum.  She has a new sense of detachment from real time. I envy her that right now.

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5 thoughts on “Missing Mum

  1. When dealing with dementia patients, time is truly lost on them. When visiting my elderly aunt, we could see her twice in a day and she would think there were days between visits….other times it would be a week between visits and she would ask where I went to lunch after I left earlier…not realizing a week had passed.

    It is a sad journey, but it sounds like your mom is coping fairly well. I am more worried about you.

    I lost my mom 19 years ago and I still miss our shopping trips, and dinners out. I don’t think I will ever quit missing her.

    I do have a little suggestion for your mom’s wandering clothing though…can you write her name on the tags? We did that with my aunt and most of the time, the clothes found their way back.

    (though at one visit, we saw a nurses aid wearing aunties sweater that had gone missing a week before!!)

    • The home labels all the clothes, and I label her clothes as well, they just got missing into other residents’ rooms and that means I have to ask the staff to go looking for them (as I am not allowed). But often it really does depend on who you ask as to when that actually gets done. I have seen my mum’s clothes an other residents and then I just ask the staff to retrieve them at an appropriate time. I also make mum return clothes that don’t belong to her.

  2. I lost someone to dementia, too, right before Tessa was born. It was so hard to watch someone “disappear” right in front of my eyes, like what Quiet Dreams said.

    You are such a good daughter. If “grace” is when you are kind with no expectation of payoff, then you are full of it.

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