Wednesday, September 8

Hello! I am Lesley, your cruise director.....

...that's what it feels like sometimes around here...
rather often around here, actually. Especially on days like
today when I am bit under the weather and also have tasks
like book-keeping to take care of.

My sweet Mom comes out of her room after her nap and
sits down heavily in the chair next to me, then sighs and
looks bored. I suggest her book, but that hasn't been
a popular activity lately (I shall have to do a little subtle
sleuthing to see if she is having any trouble with reading,
or if she just needs a new book). And indeed, she rejects
that idea. I am not up to a walk...mentally or physically. It
takes mental strength to go on walks with Mom as I must
match my steps to Mom's slow ones and, inevitably the
same observations and questions come up in each and
every walk....but today I am also too tired physically
(just allergies, I think!).

So, I have been researching off and on today, trying
to find an attractive, inexpensive latch-hook rug kit. My
mom and her mom actually used to do these in the '70s
when my grandmother lived with us. It was one of the
few crafts that my mom spent any time with. She doesn't
knit, crochet, sew or even mend. I wonder if you lose
those skills with dementia? They, somehow, seem
un-losable...but as my mom never had them, her
hands are often unoccupied these days. Perhaps
the latch-hooking will soon fill both her hands
and her empty moments.

In the meantime, there is always dishwashing
(what she is doing right now-thank goodness my son
didn't get on it as quickly as he was supposed to!).
And we clean the house together now-Mom is in charge
of dusting and I do the vacuuming and bathrooms.
Folding clothes is a good one, especially if the things
are small....but I shall be working on storing up
some pleasant, independent activities for Mom
when books, tv, and chores pall. This has been on
my mind for months now, as the dementia shrinks
the already small list of things Mom likes to do.

For now, I will keep the beautiful magazines
nearby to hand to her in boring moments, and
the hummingbirds are still here for her to watch,
and I am sure I will get up the strength to go on a
walk tomorrow.....And, of course, I am aware that
that there is much more to this than the simple
problem is my guilt over not taking
more time to figure it all is my sadness
about the diminishment of my mom's
interests and abilities.

P.S. Indeed, my son accompanied my mom on
her walk today and I had the good fortune to win
a UK ebay auction for this rug kit. I am so thankful...
there are some shockingly ugly rug kits out there
in the world!


melissa said...

I'd love for you to take care of me (that is, if I was seriously ill). You're such a comforting sort of person.


And remember to take care of YOU!

Anonymous said...

You are such a good daughter, Lesley, but you are only human. Be kind to yourself. {hug} That is a lovely little kit you won. Do you want/need the two latch hooks I just unearthed and put in my donation bag?

Virginia Mallon-Ackermann said...

Maybe you could get your mom a temporary companion animal from a local shelter. I know by us the shelters are always looking for foster parents for animals. You wouldn't have to commit for a permanent pet and could do a kitten one day for antics and an older dog another for solace. I know my father, who had multiple strokes and dementia loved to holler at his dopey yellow lab and although his shouts were annoying the dog certainly kept him occupied. He also loved my senior chihuahua who would sit on his lap for hours. He loved it and the dog loved it. Maybe your mom would enjoy something like that.

Virginia Mallon-Ackermann said...

Here is a little story about taking care of dad. I hope you find it funny and don't think I am a horrible person but sometimes you just gotta laugh about it.

Kim Brown said...

Beloved Lesley

I have so enjoyed reading your thoughts about your mommy, please hug her for me. I love how you are thinking about what would help her. You are so dear and loving and comforting. Thank you for making this journey available to witness, I honor you both for how you have care for one another in this life.