Mom seems more alert and awake this morning. She had a good breakfast and we are hoping her shower doesn’t produce a connecting right-hook, left-uppercut combo today.
That calls to mind something I may have discussed before: Old memories dying hard and whether that is 100% bad. Mom’s primary memories/emotional responses that she expresses these days are as follows, in no particular order:
1. Hey…these are peeps of my tribe. (Smile typically) She doesn’t know who we are from Julius Caesar, but she knows she should know us and acts accordingly. I always get a hug.
2. Music and, to an extent, drawing/coloring. Mom can still play parts of many songs. She loses track which song she is playing without a singer (even if she is singing). She needs a note or two to get started, but she can hang with you as long as you keep it up. Wrong key occasionally, but who hasn’t done that??
3. No. She understands that, when you have a doubt of what is going on, NO is a solid answer. “Do you want the green mush today, mom?” “No”. See also “Nope” and “uh-uh”.
4. Modesty. “Let’s get you undressed for your bath or change your clothes, Brenda”. See #3 for default response. For gathering a group to push this issue: see #5.
5. Brute strength and hardheadedness. Mom will not be pushed into anything, especially undressing. Do you have a role in a commercial or movie that requires a fat lip? Swing by…she will help you.
6. Kindness. Mom tries to share her food with me every time I am there. She serves. She cares. She loves. #5 is only pulled out when pushed.
7. Humor. Whether it be making raspberry sounds or “saying” a well-timed comment, mom loves laughter and smiling.
8. The desire to not be a burden. She has told me for years…even before her dementia diagnosis nearly 10 years ago that if she can’t take care of herself, don’t feel guilty moving her to a memory unit and, ultimately, when her time is up, acting on her advanced directives. 🙁
9. Her faith in Christ. Mom became a believer later in life despite being raised partially by horseback Methodist minister grandparents. Mom is still and will always be believing on Christ and her future with Him and us in heaven.
Mom has made a lot of mistakes in her life, as have the rest of those reading this, including the typist…but she has tremendous character even today. If you have known mom for longer than I have (not that many of you on here) and you have a different opinion of mom, I have some #5 available to bring on you that she taught me long ago how to administer. 😉