Thursday, December 6, 2007

bah humbug?

mom always decorated for christmas. never overblown or anything, but she always made her home look and feel festive. last year it was pretty minimal, but she was still slightly interested.

so, the day we left town for thanksgiving, while she was downstairs with an aide, i placed her few remaining decorations around her room so that when we returned it'd look sorta christmas-y for her.

3 days later...she walked into the room and immediately said something like, "it's too early." we talked about it and i reluctantly packed it all back into boxes wondering if she'd want any of it out in a week or two...


the subject came up again yesterday. she decided she guessed it would be ok to look at the stuff.

we set up the crèche and laughed about who would wander in and steal baby jesus or one of the lambs. we placed a few santas around the room. i hung a stocking on a lamp.
we looked at the miniature christmas tree that she has always been fond of and then she said, "no one's going to see any of this but you and me."

maybe to hide my sadness at that honest assessment, i reminded her that the resident kleptomaniac would see it! we laughed and i boxed most of the decorations back up again.

as i was doing so i asked her if maybe we should offer to decorate the common areas of the floor. "well, i guess that'd be ok," she said half heartedly.

-------------deck the halls--------------

today when i stopped by, mom wasn't in her room. i noticed she'd removed the stocking from the lamp and had apparently just dropped it on the floor there at the end of the couch. i admit to feelin' sorta crummy about that as i went to find her.

turns out she was sitting around with a half dozen other residents in the main social area, something she very rarely does. mom was smiling and looking rather regal, i thought. a couple of staffers were spiritedly encouraging them all. lawrence welk christmas music was playing on a tape. i was so happy mom was taking part.

they were all enjoying the decorations. Ms. Aronson was particularly enamored with the nativity scene (yes, LA, the one you made) and played with it and talked about it the whole hour or so i was there. i was offered a chair beside mom that Russell always sits in. i tried to refuse, but they wouldn't hear of it. when Russell came in a few minutes later i got up to let him sit there, but he refused and sat on a couch instead.

i sat back down in Russell's chair next to the 'queen for the day.'

they brought me juice and cookies they'd made this morning. i was feeling kind of embarrassed about the treatment, but then i figured, "hey! what the heck. it takes a willing receiver to have a willing giver. right?"

maybe tomorrow i'll take some pictures of the festive looking sitting area and post them here.


Annie said...

I'm glad you got to see your Mom having fun with the others. Since you were sitting in the special chair, did that make you King for the day?

Looking forward to the pictures.

cornbread hell said...

yeah, much to my embarrassment, i think i was. that's the first time out of a thousand i was offered a snack.

i think i'll try to get a picture of russell sitting in the chair. he's a pretty cool old dude.

Annie said...

That's sweet. Maybe you were looking wan and hungry?

Anonymous said...

"hey! what the heck. it takes a willing receiver to have a willing giver. right?"
one of the greatest lessons we can learn after being raised in a religious home of "giving" teachings.


~Betsy said...

Sorry you're experiencing changes with your mom, but you do a good job of dealing with it all. I'm real glad to see your mom socializing with the other residents - awesome!

Judy said...

I wanted to decorate but she says she is not I do nothing and feel guilty. Some of the residents have really pretty decorations. My moms room is at the end of the hall and soooo many automatically go into her room at the end and we have some KLEPTOs too. Drives me crazy!!!!!!!!!

cornbread hell said...

judy, the wandering in and klepto stuff doesn't really bother me so much. it *kinda* bothers mom, but not a whole lot.

i know who the klepto is and she's such a sweet, harmless lady it's impossible to resent her. one day mom walked in and there was the lady curled up on mom's couch with her little baby doll.

rilera said...

You are a good son. You planted the seed of Christmas and it sounds like your Mom and the other residents ran with it. I'm so glad that things worked out. How long has your Mom resided at this place?

cornbread hell said...

well, the staff was already doing plenty of christmas stuff. but this sure got mom involved in it and i doubt she would have otherwise.

she's been in the alz unit about 3 1/2 months. she lived in the "you're on your own" side for about 2 years (?) before that.

*(¯`·¸*Chris*¸·´¯)* said...

I hate this damned disease. I just want to say that. And I think you are one hell of a son. May your heart be blessed for doing all you can for your mom. Give her a hug from me.

cornbread hell said...

i will, chris.
i love you, too. i'm sorry for how you are hurting. i really am.

Joanne D. Kiggins said...

It's good that you and Mom can joke about those things. I'm sorry to hear things are changing for you and her, but I'm glad you were able to see her enjoying herself. ((hugs))