If we were having coffee together, this morning, I would offer you my home-brew toddy coffee with a spoonful of cocoa mix for an added warmth and homey comfort. I awoke early, nearly two hours ago, and have not felt inclined to lie down to sleep, again. I will regret that, later in the day, when the Scampers decide they want to play instead of nap while Al’s off to work his volunteer shift.
I would share with you my sorrow for my mother, who was transferred from hospital to nursing home this past Tuesday under hospice care. She does not always know who we are, her eyesight is failing, and she is lost in time, not knowing her age or circumstances. She had been living in the family home, not in the same town or state as us, though not so far away, with my father as her sole caregiver. Since she is no longer able to get out of her bed and walk, that is no longer possible.
I would tell you about my mother’s dream for the last years of her life. She always assumed that Father would die first and that she would have some years free to travel and to rearrange the house for her quilting, attend workshops again, around the country as she used to do. She does not realize that she is dying…although we hope that as she rests and (hopefully) eats proper meals, she will stabilize and perhaps even improve physically. The doctors said that if mental recovery does take place within the first few weeks of rehydrating and proper diet, it’s probably not going to.
A concern I would share with you is my sorrow for the changes that have taken place in her mind since the years when we were both able to go places together and to talk on the phone and send emails back and forth. She no longer can use her computer. The most powerful emotions are the ones that seem to dominate her thoughts: regrets for what she cannot do, disgust that the world she knows, is becoming more violent, again, filled with violence, hatred and discrimination. For all that she has fought personal battles against it, not all of her own children have met her expectations. She sorrows and rages against what she perceives to be her failures, even as she has said of each that she did her best, but we’re out of her hands, once we leave home.
I am dismayed that my mother believes she is only at the nursing home to get well and be safe until her husband dies, and then will return there to pick up where she left off when she could still see and hear and move sufficiently to take care of herself. I have the medical power of attorney, and so I must carry out the decisions that she set down while she was able to do so.
I would also share with you that I am getting better. My blood oxygen percentage is now pretty consistently within the normal range. I am adding miles to my almost daily pedaling the exercise bike, and we are talking seriously about buying a machine that will hit more muscle groups, and also one that Al will use. The allergy index has gone down much earlier than last year. In short, I am pleased to be feeling better. I have not taken antihistamines for many months and not regularly for years, and I believe that has helped.
The Scampers are asleep, right now, but if we were having coffee together, they surely would wake up and want to play with us. Charlie and Thaddeus are joyful puppies, playing and dozing with us, chasing each other around the yard, and stalking the youngest generation of rabbits who nest beneath our gazebo. They are nine months old, now, a delight to our lives, no matter the work involved. (Thaddeus eats towels, washcloths, and all of my long skirts but one! That would be my puppy. Charlie loves to throw the tennis ball off the couch so that it bounces, and then chase after it.)
Look through tabs of Mother’s cookbook
for french toast with cinnamon
which we were used to devour
when children on a rainy Sunday
Only recipes, now, and memories
of sticky hugs
Search among the tabs
just one more time
for Mother’s recipe
– Elizabeth (Lizl) Bennefeld, Sept. 2005
Please stop by Diana’s Part Time Monster Blog for this week’s post and also click on the Linkz button for links to others’ Weekend Coffee Share posts.