When you have a parent who lives in a Care Center, you come to dread those late night phone calls.

I had to take mom’s phone away a few years ago because she was calling 911 to often. She wanted out, so hey!, what better way then to call the guys who have to come and get her! Surprisingly, the nurses never encountered this before, so the first time she called, the ambulance came over without calling back first to see if the call was legit or not. It took a few calls for them to figure it out.

So now, when she calls, mom needs to borrow the nurses phone, which works out fine. Especially now that she has stopped begging to have her own phone. Last night I got a call with mom frantically calling out,

“Mary! They just told me that I have been MISSING for 4 years! Why would they tell me that??”

So I say, “Missing? No, you are not missing mom, you are there! You are calling ME!” (which I thought was humorous) You have been at Waverly for 4 years, maybe that is what they meant.”

She continued to express her confusion and frustration about why they would possibly tell her that she is missing (which she got twisted in her dementia ridden mind).

During those moments I feel glad that I have helped to calm her mood as she says, “Oh, I am SO happy that you answered. I had things so mixed up.”

I then ease her mind and comfort her by letting her know I will stop and see her tomorrow, and that I bought her new shoes. And she then comically replies, “Well, they better not be tennis shoes!” It helps, and she can now go to sleep more restfully.

She seemed at peace knowing that she isn’t so alone in the world. And that she is not, in fact, missing from the face of the planet.  And not missing from those that love her, like me.

And knowing that comforts her, and helps me to sleep better too.

“Give me hope in the darkness, so that I will see the light.” ~Mumford and Sons “Ghosts that We Knew”


One thought on “Hello?

  1. I have a lot of compassion for you and your mother. I think about the confusion that she must feel. Dementia is a terrible thing and it’s so sad to watch the decline in a loved one.

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