where’s millie?

Usually, my mother remembers things from long ago, but we have occasional lapses.

decor-2483214_1280A couple of weeks ago, my mother’s first words of the day were, “Where’s Millie?” and I froze. Millie is my mother’s younger sister who died about 42 years ago. She didn’t remember that Millie had died of a brain tumor. I think she realized that forgetting this particular piece of information was a bit unusual for her, as she was rather quiet when I told her. For the next 20 minutes or so, until I left for work, I heard her quietly say several times that she couldn’t believe that she didn’t remember.  Continue reading “where’s millie?”

death and memory loss

Since moving down 22 months ago, two of Mom’s friends have died ….

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Last year, my mother lost one of her best friends. It was tremendously sad for all of us, as Ginny was a wonderfully energetic woman who shuttled my mother to the doctor’s office, the grocery store, the library and anywhere else Mom needed to go. Ginny was 73 years old and, though she had been sick for a couple of months, her death was a shock. She was always busy with family, crafts, the Church, social organizations and friends, particularly my mother. She always made time for her and went out of her way to make sure Mom was safe and sound. I don’t know what we would have done without her.  Continue reading “death and memory loss”

finding an educational message

Mom and I like to learn new things, so we find ways to grow that also are entertaining.

 

 

 

Television is at its best, in my opinion, when it opens a window on something new or shines a spotlight on something artistic or presents great storytelling. For my mother, television is a primary source of information. She no longer reads newspapers and rarely reads magazines. TV is her source for national and local news; she doesn’t follow the ins and outs of pop culture. However, she does like history and science.  Continue reading “finding an educational message”

finding the funny everyday

My new job is to make sure Mom laughs everyday … like taking vitamins or eating protein.

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It’s been a while since I posted about life with Mom, who is 89 years old. She is living with me now after years of living independently. Before she moved here, she had a group of friends with whom she would go shopping or work on craft projects. They would chat and laugh and enjoy each other’s company. They still do chat and laugh, but much less frequently and at a distance of 400+ miles. People don’t call as often as they used to and who writes letters anymore? Mom’s movement is more limited – it’s physically hard for her to get around and she is afraid to go out and do things because she’s in a new city. Sometimes she can’t remember where she’s going or how to get home. I think she’s afraid that if she goes out, she will be lost forever. Her world is shrinking.  Continue reading “finding the funny everyday”

movie magic sometimes strikes

Hitting on the right movie is a challenge but sometimes we get lucky …

film-596519_1280My mother is no longer able to follow complex or fast-paced movies, which is not surprising given that she is 89. Her short-term memory is problematic; she tends to do better with long-term memories. Yet, while old movies and TV shows are easier for her to follow, sometimes she still has difficulty following the story and loses track of the characters. At least with old movies, the pacing is slower (as is the flow of text in closed captioning) and the plots are a little more familiar. She also remembers some of the old actors and actresses that she watched when she was younger.   Continue reading “movie magic sometimes strikes”

clearing out and letting go

It’s amazing how much we can live without … remembering that is really important and sometimes really sad …

clothes-2150834_1280Even in a small space, there are things to sell, give away, donate or throw away. When Mom came to live with me, she mailed several boxes of clothes, craft supplies, etc. and I found homes for them in the closet or in drawers. I sorted through my things to make space for whatever she sent down. This meant that some of my things were put out for anyone to take while other items were donated to organizations helping: women fleeing domestic violence or homeless people in Baltimore or veterans who need assistance or shelter-bound animals seeking a home. Of course, some items were thrown away, having already given their all. Item A needed space so Item B had to go.  Continue reading “clearing out and letting go”

o christmas tree!

Christmas is a link to memories past and to simple happiness …

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I’ve always decorated (somewhat) for Christmas. I’ve always had a tree and put out some holiday knick knacks. My mother LOVES Christmas. Loves decorating. Loves the tree lights. Therefore, my efforts had to increase substantially this year!  Continue reading “o christmas tree!”