Today Mama was with me, an unplanned day. My siblings and I and her dear day-time caregiver, Sherry, all work very hard at keeping her schedule on track and consistent. However, for each of us, things occasionally change; a sickness, a snow day, an unexpected time out of town. We know that flexibility is key.
I had an annual checkup doctor appointment today. I decided to keep the appointment and take Mama with me. She was slow moving so I was pushing her along a bit so that I would not be late for my appointment. I rushed her into putting on her shoes and socks, though she insisted they were not her shoes. I wouldn’t let her bring everything along that she wanted to bring; her bible, her Sunday school papers, her comb and toothbrush. I walked her briskly into the office because when she doesn’t want to do something, she certainly acts it out in her walking, like baby steps in slow motion.
When we finally got to the waiting area and I checked in, I smiled at her and said: “We made it, Mama! Let me help you with your coat and find you a house magazine to look at.” Very loudly she said back to me: “Why are you being so nice NOW?” Oh boy. A young man, a middle aged couple and a mom with two little kids looked at me like I was Jabba the Hutt. I smiled at them and hoped they understood the situation. Oy vey.
In hindsight I probably should have rescheduled the appointment. She became very confused and suspicious. She kept asking me if there was some secret plan to take her some place and leave her.
My actual time with the doctor was pleasantly quick and I was back out to Mama in fewer than 15 minutes. When I saw her she loudly exclaimed that she had been waiting there for hours. Even positive things somehow have a way of becoming negative.
I miss my old Mama. I still see glimpses of her occasionally; her laugh, her sense of humor, her kindness. But it is fading.
I smiled at her and helped her put on her coat and gloves and we walked (slowly) to the car. She was cantankerous for about another hour. Then I had her make herself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and pour herself a glass of milk (she likes to do things herself) and she felt better. She began to warm up to me again and we ended the day singing Amazing Grace, which is exactly what the Lord gave me all day.