Hi all! Happy 48th day of being “in the hole”, Shawshank-style…a.k.a. in lock down from getting to visit loved ones in nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities. You may be plus or minus a little in the number of days, but you certainly feel the same pain. What particularly saddens me is the great routine we were in before the pandemic and not knowing how she is dealing with the new normal. But you know, come to think of it, stepping back even further, the biggest sadness causer is the fact that mom is one of the two people on Earth (with dad) I have always, over my nearly 50 years, came to when life was stressful, confusing, and I needed a word of wisdom. Others can and will help, but these 2 always have. Now, according to the guidance I see as an insider in the disaster prep/recovery realm, we could be looking at 2021 to see her, providing there isn’t an end-of-life scenario before then. Rough to cope with, but understandable given that 1 in 6 nursing homes has been hit by COVID-19.
The stupid virus got me thinking today about my mom as a caregiver. There are so many things she did for us in that role, and I have written about them quite a bit. This piece highlights just some of the many injuries I had that mom had to help clean up. However, while it was one of my favorites, it left out the time whenever we all got sick at once. My guess is in the mid 1970s, all of us in the house got sick. I have a picture of me sick on my favorite green couch (the picture below has the couch(?), but it isn’t the right picture…we are searching for it…). Mom, sick herself, tended to the rest of the fam admirably, fixing gallons of chicken noodle soup, bringing out the flat Sprite as needed, and dosing us with whatever that yellow cough syrup was that tasted like pre-death. We could always count on her. Such is the life of a mom…no time for her to get sick…there was work to do!!!
Later on in the Applegate House Pandemic, mom finally pooped out and another mom, Grandma Applegate, risked life and limb to care for us all…and loved every minute of it I am sure.
My point? I am not sure…just that there are stories aplenty. Alzheimer’s may strip them from mom, but it won’t strip them from me. I love you mom. Thanks for helping us brave the many waves of sickness in our youth. 🙂
Update: Had a couple of Facetimes with mom the last couple of days. Better than nothing, but it doesn’t compare to getting to serve her is a small way like she served us for decades.
(A bonus shout out to Bob Barker, Sesame Street, Villa Alegre, and Electric Company for keeping us entertained while missing school in those years. Netflix, Schmetflix!)