(written on Sunday, January 23, 2011)
I usually go visit my mom twice a week. Today Mom was wearing her hot pink robe again and had messy hair with no makeup on as usual. I find myself often hoping that she will be dressed when we come on any given day…but once again I am learning to let go of my hopes and expectations a little bit at a time. Mom has always liked to be comfortable, and getting dressed is not at the top of her list of comfortable things to do. She often says, “What’s the point? I just sit in this chair all day anyway.”, whenever I ask her why she doesn’t get dressed. It is such a humbling site to see my once beauty queen of a mom be consistently wearing her robe, and in a wheel chair. She is so vulnerable .. and yet. she is no longer very anxious or angry. She is always very happy to see us come. She is always very thankful that we have come to spend time with her.
I believe mom has reached a resignation stage in her disease. She no longer asks about home or talks about how things used to be at all, which is surprising to me at times. I often wonder how much she actually remembers, and I am mostly hesitant to ask her any of those questions. I am afraid of upsetting her with remembering things that can no longer be a reality for her. She never talks of Florida…which is odd, because it was such an important and special home to her. But, I think that her world has become so much smaller that there may be no room to hold those once treasured memories. She is getting further into a non conversational state, where she just sits and enjoys just simply being in our presence. It is hard for me to take it in some days, as I still remember well, the once vibrant and outgoing personality that was once my mom. She always had many questions for how and what was going on in my life. With me, it was a give and take with our conversations. We rarely ran out of things to talk about and she often had many helpful insights and advice on a variety of issues.
As we were coming down from the top floor deli today, the kids hid from Nana in the living room area situated next to mom’s room. The kids had a blast hiding out and waiting expectantly for us to come search them out. As I rolled mom along she enjoyed playing along saying things like, “oh I wonder where the kids are…they must be behind this chair!”
Hearing their tiny joyous giggles made her grin with glee each time we searched one out. They then proceeded to hide in her room over and over again, even when there were no longer places left to hide. It didn’t matter to them, they just loved the thrill of the chase , like all little children do with hide and seek! It makes me happy to see that she can still enjoy a basic game like hide and seek with my kids, even with all of her limitations….Yet again, God’s grace found a way to show us how the true love and joy from children has no limits in warming those around them.
On the way out it was very touching. An older daughter was wheeling her mom past the nurses station when I heard her say…”oh, it is soooo nice to see little kids around here!” Donna the nurse in charge, said in reply, “I know! They just brighten everyone’s faces around here…. we just love when they come around here!” Hearing that really made me feel proud and happy knowing that our love and bright spirits really do make a very real difference…it was a very uplifting and affirming thing to hear!
For anyone who asks will receive, and he who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to anyone who knocks. Luke 11:10