Understanding mom…


Mom with my brother Ralph and his wife Gayle on a recent Sunday. That he sees mom almost daily has had a calming effect on her.

Things have improved a fair amount for my mother.  Not so many spells of agitation, which in part may be due to a juggling act with her medications, or she’s becoming accustomed to her new surroundings.  She seems more lucid and aware, although she asks me now and then how things are going in Des Moines.  Things are okay, mom, things are just okay.

But it may also be that the move to Grand Island to be near my brother has helped.  Now she has someone checking in on her almost daily, and it appears to have a calming influence on her.

Her situation will never really improve.  It’s simply the progression of what ails her.  We can all live with her moments of anxiety and disorientation.  Her fits of agitation?  No big deal.  It’s all about understanding mom.

I continue to write to her new address.  The staff who read the letters to her say she enjoys them but there’s no real way to know for sure.  I don’t ask because she won’t remember.  Then again, her ears perk up when she hears about Ellen and Reid, and she never fails to ask how they are.  Perhaps I don’t give her enough credit.  So I’ll keep on reminding her week in and week out.

Here is today’s installment of the weekly letter to mom.

————–

October 1, 2010

Mom: It was really good to hear your voice on the phone yesterday.  I’m sorry to hear you’ve got bumps and bruises from some falls.  Make sure your walker is always pretty close.  But if you’re not using it, send it to me and I can take it with me around the block a few times.  The staff there sent some photos of you, Gayle and Ralph out on the front steps and it was good to see you smiling, too.

Spent part of last night at a shelter for homeless women that my church has set up in one of our spare buildings that had seen little use in recent years.  My minister was hosting a Bible study and I thought I’d pop in for a few photos for the church newsletter.  It’s hard to watch people sleeping on cots, but those that are seem very thankful.  You look at them and think ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ and there’s a lot of truth to that.  There’s more than 50 women sleeping on floors.  It’s tough.

I thought about wearing a jacket the other day but it just wasn’t cold enough.  It’s a sign, though, that our temperatures are moderating a little bit.  I had to laugh today at the news that reported North Carolina was getting dumped on by a tropical storm that was touching the eastern coast.  This far inland we had sunny skies and nice warmth this afternoon.  We did have some rain the other night but nothing to write home about.

Been working like a slave these past few days at work.  I’ve got a new assignment and it feels good to be really getting after it.  I’ve been going in about 7:00 and leaving at nearly 6:00 so it makes for a long day.  Beats the alternative, I guess.  Hey, whatever pays the bills.

I’m sorry to say that it doesn’t appear I’ll be driving to Grand Island like I thought would.  Just too much going on at the office.  But all things considered, I’d rather be in the Midwest eating ice cream with you guys.

Jeez, my diet went to hell in a handbasket last night.  I wanted some fried chicken and I got some fried chicken.  It was at a place called Bojangles, which is a Southern chain of chicken joints.  It’s okay.  It doesn’t taste like yours and I’m sure it was bad for me but I would not be denied.  Had a side of mac & cheese and a biscuit.  I won’t have to eat again for a week.  I’ve had my fix of fried chicken for a while.

Rode the Harley to Augusta, GA last Saturday and broiled like a steak nearly the entire way.  Not a very pretty ride since it was all on the Interstate, but it was good to get the stink blown off as you used to say.  Hey, at 75 miles per hour, I can hold my own with any of that traffic.  I blow by a lot of cars, but they’ll get used to it.  Vrroommm!

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