“We usually meet my parents for breakfast Sunday mornings. This morning six of us joined them. As always, they are happy to see everyone. Mom asks if I like her hair. I tell her it looks very nice. She says, ‘No one noticed I got a haircut.’
Me: ‘Actually mom you are getting a haircut tomorrow.’
A few minutes later…
Mom: ‘Did you notice my haircut?’
Me: ‘I love it Mom.’
They bring her some water in a styrofoam cup with a lid and straw (she does better with lids and straws these days).
Me: ‘Mom, take your pills. Here’s some water.’
Mom: ‘I’m not drinking that. It looks weird.’
Her cups at home are plastic with lids and straws and fun designs. I show her it’s water. Nope, she’s not drinking it. We get her juice and she takes her pills.
I walk her home since the restaurant is a block from their house and it’s easier than loading her and her wheelchair into the car. She picks what side of the road to walk on — it varies each week but she is adamant once she chooses. We go inside and dad is right behind us — he drives the car home. I try to take her coat off but she wants it on. She’ll take it off once she gets home. I tell her we are home. She doesn’t believe me. We visit for a bit and once she is comfortable where she is, she lets me take her coat off.
There is a wall filled with family photos mom wanted hung in their living room next to their sofa so she could see them often. My sister hung them for her about 2 years ago. Today she points at them and says, ‘Look at that wall, what a mess.’ I said, ‘Mom, that’s your family. Your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.’ She says, ‘Well, it’s a mess and that family is too big.’ I laugh (sometimes I agree about the family size). I imagine she will want those moved in the near future.
I help her into her recliner, lean over and give her a kiss and say, ‘I love you.’ She is quiet. I stay close and wait. Nothing. I am afraid to move. Afraid I won’t hear her say her words to me. I pull away from her cheek and I look at her and she says, ‘I love you too.’
It was my birthday, May 17, 2017, when she no longer knew my name or who I was. I imagine the day I no longer hear her say those words will be a date I will remember also. What I do know is it will not be January 28, 2018. It’s another good day!”
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