Sunday, August 11, 2013

Jealous...But Only Slightly

Mom is doing very well...considering.  She seems very happy in the place where she lives and has pretty much completely forgotten she ever had a home.  In fact, when she does refer to "home," it's her childhood home in San Francisco, not the house she lived in in Utah for 52 years.

I miss Mom, both physically and the lady she once was.  I miss the in-depth talks we once had.  I call her every day.  I've only missed one day since she moved into her assisted living facility in January.  Most days it's almost the exact same conversation.  I don't mind so much.  I want to stay connected to her, and I also recognize that one day she may forget me, so I want to hold on to her knowing who I am for as long as I can.  I also just want her to know that I care.  Her short term memory is so bad I'm sure she doesn't remember much of our conversations or even that I call after the fact, although she does recognize that I call her every day.

She's still at a stage where she can learn and retain new information.  For example, she remembers that Jonah's dad died or what my job is.  Statistically she probably has another year or two in this stage.  Eventually, however, she will not be able to retain new information and there will likely come a day when my phone calls will have less or no meaning to her at all and even a day where she will not be able to verbally communicate at all.  I do not look forward to that.

She enjoys my phone calls, and I enjoy talking to her.  Every once in a while she tells me something new, and often things she says makes me laugh.  Today she told me she didn't like a particular resident because she was "weird" and "was always butting into people's conversations."  She also told me she had been on a roller coaster recently.  She was so detailed about it, I almost believed her.  But I'm sure it didn't really happen.

I've mentioned that Mom has a male friend named Harold.  They hang out a lot.  I've talked about how Mom feels about him here.  I'm really glad she has a close friend that she likes and can do stuff with.  But I also admit to feeling jealous at times.  Sometimes I will call Mom and she will barely speak to me because she has to "get back to Harold."  I'm only mildly jealous.  Truthfully.  I guess it's like a parent might feel when his or her child gets married.  The child moves out of the house and starts a new phase of their life.  It doesn't mean he or she loves the parent any less, but their attention is focused elsewhere, and the parent needs to let them move on and progress.

I guess as someone who was Mom's primary caretaker for so long and who was considered the "Golden Child," it's just weird to her fixate on someone else.  But it's good.  It really is a good thing, and I'm glad she has found happiness and purpose in her relationship with Harold.  In spite of the stress and worry it often caused, I guess I just miss being a bigger part of Mom's life.  But that's the cycle of life we are in.  I'm just glad she is happy.  She really seems to be, and I am grateful for that.

1 comment:

LCannon said...

I went to visit mom today. She and Harold and I talked about many of the residence - including the "weird" lady (whom I referred to as Nellie in at least one post) -
she is in a stage where mom will be headed - not looking forward to that at all. And yes, she does seem weird. Harold caught her in his room laying on his bed - he called for the staff to come get him out. Harold draws the line at others being in his bed. And he knows how to use the pull chord and has used it several times. I often wonder if mom would know what to do - aside from swearing (LOL)

It was interesting to listen to Harold and mom's perspective on different residence. There are at least two residence that don't seem like they quite belong at memory care - Harold being one of them. Although he does sometimes get mixed up about whose room their in.

And as of today, mom seemed to accept the "open door" rule - however it seems to apply to only Harold's room and not hers. Have you ever met Harold?