Thursday, September 15, 2011

Taking Care........

I slipped in for a quick visit after dinner last night.  I'm back to work for the academic year now,  so will visit more in the evenings than the mornings.  To my surprise, my mother was in the group area with eyes open.  My mother is one of very few residents with Alzheimer's.  Her peers for the most part are in residence due to age, mobility and being alone in the world.   I am conscious of their scrutiny when I come to visit....they watch my interactions with my mother carefully.  Few ever speak to me but 12 pairs of eyes often speak louder than words.  I wheel my mother out to the porch for what is perhaps the last warm evening of summer.  The porch area looks over the quiet neighborhood and the nearby elementary school playground.  We hold hands, she and I, and I am rewarded with an occasional squeeze.  She does not speak, but on three occasions she opened her eyes, looked out over the yard and then apparently overwhelmed with the whole view, slammed her eyes shut.  I suspect she is retreating further away as the world around her becomes more and more confusing.  We sit awhile longer and I eventually wheel her back into the group area.  There is a spirited four hand game of cards in the corner, a small group watching Jeopardy and several residents giving me that careful scrutiny I mentioned.  Apparently I have passed the test I did not know I was taking.  The card players stop their game as the room watches me say goodnight to my mother.  It's always the same, a kiss on her forehead, a squeeze to her hand and an "I love You" in her ear.  I back away ready to depart and about 12 residents in unison tell me "she opened her eyes today dear, don't you worry we are taking good care of her".  Farewell and drive safe wishes are called out as I made my way to the door.  They have her back and apparently it seems ....mine as well.

1 comment:

  1. How nice!Those little old ladies are protective of her