Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the mom chronicles continued (part 3)

[note to all 4 of my readers: this is intended to be read as a trilogy. please read parts 1, 2 and 3 in order. or not.]

i had to wonder if my not having shown up on monday was in some way related to the Great day mom had on tuesday. i mean, for the months she's been "incarcerated in the memory unit" i've been a constant presence. well, at least a daily reminder of her life before.

so i decided...

wednesday, 8-15:
experimental hooky playing day.

thursday, 8-16:
"hi mom, what's up?"
"oh, same old thing. they won't let me do anything here. i hate being treated like a 5 year old."

i look around the room:
unmade bed. peanut butter jar open and it's real messy looking on the countertop. full trashcan. no makeup on mom...(5 year old, indeed. how dare they. harumph!)

"well, then how 'bout we go find something to do, mom. come on."

so we go downstairs and there's an elvis impersonator in the main dining room. or maybe it was the real elvis, i'm not sure. we go in and catch the last half of his show. after it's over i mention something about elvis and she says, "is that who he was supposed to be? i saw something about that in the paper today."

"yeah, that was before your time. i have an idea, though. let's go to the library and see if we can find anything interesting on the computer."

she stops in her tracks, looks both ways and asks, "which way are we going?"

"follow me..."

we enter the library and she says the same thing she always says when she sees the room. "i think i have some books i need to bring back here. but i guess i didn't bring them."
we pull our chairs up to the computer and while she's getting situated i stick a few books i think she *might* find of interest in the shelf next to her chair, then i sit down next to her and pull up the blog her grand daughter made for her. when we're finished reading that, for the umpteenth time, i google "big band music."

we must've watched 20 'you tube' videos and between every one of them she'd tell me stories that went back 50,60,70 years. she remembered venues and people and dancing and good times that have been lurking somewhere in the creases of her mind for all that time.

before we left the library we googled some of the places she'd mentioned and she told me even more stories and asked questions. we talked about such things all the way back to the 4th floor and when we got to her room she placed the books by her bed that she'd somehow found in the library that looked interesting to her.

and then we made the bed up.

triggers exist. exiguous as they may be, they do exist. it's got little to do with whether i'm there or not. it's about somehow unlocking the nuggets still active in her own mind.

p.s. re: the 30th anniversary of elvis' death concert...when i'm in the boat mom's in now, if you don't have the heart to just shoot me, then please make it a groucho marx anniversary rather than an elvis one. deal?


Anonymous said...
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cornbread hell said...
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flintysooner said...

I try to organize the disease, too. My degree is in physics so I guess it is normal for me to try to understand the unknowable. Old Don Q and I.

cornbread hell said...

thanks, i appreciate your insight. you nailed it in 25 words or less.

"I try to organize the disease...I guess it is normal for me to try to understand the unknowable. Old Don Q and I."

Anonymous said...

i think you are making a major positive contribution to your mother's quality of life.
if i'm around and coherent, i'll do my best to reference groucho.

cornbread hell said...

thanks anonymous.
i love lurkers almost as much as commenters. now you're both!

(are you lydia?)

Anonymous said...

you got it! tattoos and all!

cornbread hell said...

oh lydia, oh should comment more often...