Parental Journal 92 from Planet Elderly: About that 91st Birthday

Saturday, August 19, 2017 – afternoon

Tears

I have lots of nice memories floating in my mind from Mom’s 91st birthday, and they start with tears.  I was assembling Mom’s gift bag, wrapping new clothing items in pink tissue paper and placing them in the bag when I found myself almost ready to weep.  I was excited about the day and looking forward to it, but out of the blue my eyes swelled with tears and I remember thinking, “This might be Mom’s last birthday.”

I slapped that thought out of my head with the words, “Don’t go there.  Just enjoy the day and help Mom enjoy it, too.”

Who’s This Crabby Lady?

When I arrived, I was told Mom was in bed.  She often eats early and then goes back to bed.  I knocked on the door and could tell this was not a good-mood-moment.

“Hi, Mom.  Happy Birthday!”

“I don’t care,” she said.  “I’m not feeling well.”

“Well, I picked up the birthday pies and they cooling in the dining area.  Lemon meringue.”   Mom Birthday 07 2017 Pies from Peggy Jean’s Pies, Columbia MO

“That’s nice.  I’m just tired of all this.  I wish I was dead.  I’m crabby.”

“Are you feeling okay?  Do you hurt anywhere?”

And then she talked about being mad because she is old and is experiencing “that stuff,” meaning the prolapsed uterus and bladder.  “I sure hope you don’t have to go through this.”

“Me, too.   Do we need to go back to the doctor before our next scheduled appointment?  We can do that.”

“No.  I’ll be fine.  I just hate my life.”

I left to let her put herself together.  A bit later Activities Coordinator, Mary Kaye stopped by to give Mom the kind of pep talk she responds best to:  People are here to celebrate your birthday, so pull it together.  And she did…masterfully so.  No one would have ever guessed she started the day as a crabby old lady.

Friend, Esther, came by to enjoy lunch and help celebrate:

Mom Birthday 01 2017

 

Birthday bouquet from cousin Carol arrived:

Mom Birthday 02 2017

 

Mom and staff caretaker friend, Shonna:

Mom Birthday 03 2017

 

Administrator Eric stopped by:

Mom Birthday 04 2017

 

Hair stylist Nancy, Mom and friends Esther and Joyce with little Gracia.

 

Mom Birthday 05 2017

 

Coordinator Mary Kaye and Mom with Mom’s requested lunch:  sloppy Joe sandwich and french fries:

Mom Birthday 08 2017

 

Contemplating that first piece of birthday pie:Mom Birthday 06 2017

Overall, a nice celebration and Mom had a great time.

I did, too.

 

 

About jjmummert

Just another voice in the wilderness from someone who's lived on this planet for over 60 years and faces permanent residency on Planet Elderly. Update: As of March 2, 2017, I turned 70. I'm now an official resident of Planet Elderly. Dad passed away September 22, 2016. I view the Parental Journal entries as part therapy, part family history, sort of a case study of what our family experiences with one parent in a memory care unit, another living independently with short-term memory loss, and me, the only child daughter who lives 400 miles away. It's quite an adventure. Recommended readings for others who have loved ones who live with some form of dementia: The 36-Hour Day, The Myth of Alzheimer's - What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis, Alzheimer's Early Stages.
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