Dark and lonely months of Winter- sometimes, if we are not careful- it will get us depressed. I have found myself falling in depression for a few weeks. I am so ready for Spring and the rebirth that it brings.
I can’t imagine how depressed mom and the folks like her are feeling- at least I can get in my car and drive to find something different to look at. “The same four walls- the same hallway- the same dining room- the same people- the same – the same- the same- It’s depressing”. Dorothy tells me this on occasion- how everything is the same- nothing happens “in here” – day in and day out – it’s the same- it’s so depressing. I get it, and I hate it for her and all of them.
The problem is— she does see different people every day-she just doesn’t remember. Someone is usually coming in and entertaining them. Just this week there was a kindergarten group who came in and brought them all socks. Everyone got a pair; the little ones were so proud that they were able to give something to someone and to sing their songs and visit with the “shut ins”.
Dorothy is one of the lucky ones, my brother and I go and get her when we can and take her out- even if it’s only for lunch – or a drive. This week- it is her Birthday week- and our schedules allowed us to go and get her out several days in a row. Thursday, Paul took her to her favorite eating place- Five Guys- and took her for a drive. Friday, I took her with me to the County Court House to file some paperwork. We got to drive up the interstate and see the mountains, she was the first to notice the snow on the top of them. And she can still read LOL- she read every sign on the road. (-:
We stopped at our favorite Apple Store -then we stopped for lunch and visited a boutique that we go in every time we are in the fun, little town of Ellijay. She has been to all of these places over a dozen times -with me and without me- but this day, she didn’t remember ever being at any of these places. It was both sad and interesting to me. Dorothy was like a kid going into a candy store at the Apple Store- like she was seeing it for the first time. She showed me all the things that caught her eye.
On Saturday- her Birthday- I took her to the mall to buy her a new pair of shoes- she doesn’t like to tie them anymore- so we had to find something other than house slippers. (-: I let her walk around the store and pick out as many shoes as she wanted to try on- she picks a half a dozen. We sat down and tied them on and when she finally found a pair she liked- the 5th pair- she was happy and so was I. We then headed to the food court – I sat her down at a table while I went to order lunch- I found myself checking on her – like I did when I let my kids sit at the table for the first time while I went to order lunch. (All you moms and dads know exactly what I mean.) Right after lunch she was ready to go back to her place. I’m sure there was too much commotion for her- it was Saturday- and there were lots of people out and about. When we got back to her place and I got the shoes out- she asked me what they were and where I got them. I just hugged her and said, “Happy Birthday Mom”.
She did sing her song a few times on the ride to and fro- and I listened like it was the first time I heard it. It sucks! It’s hard! But it is what it is, and we do what we can do. Sometimes she is here with me in the moment- and those are the moments I enjoy- those are the moments I cherish. There are fewer and fewer of them – and I remember her telling us that this would happen. So, I hold on to them — those moments- as long as they last.
Today we will get her out again and go meet my daughter and her family for a lunch, birthday celebration. I will sit at the opposite end of the table and enjoy my grandboys. My daughter will sit at the “quiet” end of the table with her grams and enjoy her, Jessica will ask her a ton of questions and listen quietly. I know that she will focus on remembering Grams when she was vibrant and more herself- you know- the good “old days”- when Dorothy was in her prime. It will be a good day.
We all get to live- we all get to die—–we don’t get to choose how we die- only how we live. Those of us who are living and watching a loved one die have to choose how we will live through it. Somedays it’s really, really hard and sometimes we shut down for a time. And- it’s okay.
I’ve been off of here for quite a while and I’m back. I had to hibernate through the winter – I had to breathe- I had to sit quietly and figure out how I’m going to live.
Love and Light,