Let Me Call You Sweetheart: This Week with Mom

My sweet mom fresh from the beauty parlour

This week Clive and I have been visiting my mother in New Jersey, following last weekend’s wonderful time with my son and daughter-in-law.

Mom’s Alzheimer’s continues to progress and, as I wrote on our last visit, I loathe the disease more and more as it takes away more and more of my mother.

Mom still knows me, for which I am extremely thankful. She’s still getting around with her walker, though she’s having increasing difficulty getting up out of her seat without assistance. Occasionally, when a program is held in one of the more distant rooms, an aide pushes her there and back in a wheelchair, though this is still fairly rare. She’s a real trooper walking back and forth on her own, one of countless ways she is, as she always has been, my inspiration.

Mom loves her special friend, the woman who was once a nurse. They have meals together and often sit side-by-side in companionable silence, at programs or in the lounge. Their faces light up whenever they see each other.

This week, we were able to attend a variety of programs with Mom and at other times, just sit with her in the lounge and in her room. I hung out with her in the beauty parlour one morning, which I try to do on every trip and we both enjoy.

Mom under the hair dryer in the beauty parlour

Mom continues to love anything musical most of all, and in the church service and several lovely music programs, she remembers lines to certain hymns and songs. I love watching her and joining her when she sings out ‘Amazing Grace’ or ‘You Are My Sunshine’ and ‘Let Me Call You Sweetheart’.

My mother is in every way a sweetheart. One afternoon as I was walking with Mom down a long corridor, an elderly man with a walker came up behind us and asked in a rather loud voice, ‘Is this your mother?’

‘Yes,’ I said. ‘Dorothy is my mother.’

He nodded and as he passed us he said, ‘She is a VERY nice woman.’

Smiling in the mirror (and thanks to Donna for your wonderful work!)

I pray my mother remains content within herself as her Alzheimer’s advances. She long ago stopped reading and watching TV, and is having more trouble speaking and getting words out. But she still understands much of what is said to her, even if she forgets it right away, and we can still look at photos of her parents and talk about parts of her childhood.

During the week we had a few ‘ups and downs’ when Mom became anxious or agitated, but in hindsight I think the incidents were probably more upsetting for me than for my mother, thankfully.

Alzheimer’s is sometimes called ‘the long good-bye’. That is not a bad way to describe it.

As always, I wish we had more time to reconnect with more family and friends. I’m thankful we were able to see my cousins Sharon and Ron and Connecticut friends Sandy and Chris, along with my son and belle-fille.

God bless you, Mom and all our US loved ones. Counting the days until we meet again.

with my mom in the beauty parlour

Cheers and thank you for reading. Happy autumn or spring to all.

4 Responses

  1. What a nice photo of you and your mother..she’s still a beauty!

  2. Dottie looks great, and I’m so glad you are spending time with her. If only I couldn’t identify. Make sure you come again soon, and spend time with her – it helps YOU more than you can imagine.

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