Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday. I no longer bring flowers or even cards. She has a limited amount of space in her room and already enough clutter. Besides, the purpose of the flowers and cards are lost on her. We will probably celebrate with donut holes from Krispy Kreme. She still can appreciate some donut holes. Loves ’em as a matter of fact.
Lucy has her spot in the dining/sitting area of the observation area of the nursing home.
She regally occupies the same chair everyday. She gets upset if someone has taken her place in the center of the room. I joke that she is holding court. That is probably not that far from the truth.
Most days when she sees me, she kind of knows that she should know me. She doesn’t know my name and has not known it for a couple of years. But, something in her memory recognizes me in some form. Maybe it is my face. Maybe it is only because I smile at her and make eye contact when I come into the room. She smiles back and says “Well, you came to see me!”.
Usually, I will have one or both of my sons with me when we visit her. Collectively, according to her, we are “That man and those boys.” Although on a visit to get a mental evaluation recently, she told the doctor in a surly tone that I was “Her husband” as she was giving me an angry sideways look. She never liked to go to doctors and it was plain that it was definitely all my fault she was there.
The woman I knew growing up is almost gone. Almost, but there are moments that her personality shows through the terrible, inexorable dementia. She has always been tenacious. The last of eight siblings.
She knows she is a mom, but usually not that she is mine or my sisters’ mom. She usually claims other residents as her kids. And that is okay. It has to be.
I will visit her this weekend. I will bring donut holes. And I will celebrate Mother’s Day.