Monday, May 12, 2008

A Very Memorable Mother’s Day

yesterday was good. i took mom her mail. there was a card with notes from all 3 of my siblings. her eyes got all misty and she went on and on about how sweet it was. her ability to connect emotionally with them made my heart soar, too.

after a while i gave her the card i made for her. this picture of mom, my sisters and me was on the front. inside i described it for her: taken over 50 years ago, about 10 years before my brother was born, in front of our home on peavy road, she was about 35 years old, etc…

For you Alzheimer’s caregivers, you understand the routine. same for my having labeled us kids on the front. what you may not know, if you haven’t read this blog for long, is the “little oops” reference. the first time I ever heard her call my brother that was less than a year ago when she told a group at vickery towers that she has “3 children and a little oops.” i think the funniest thing about it (really, the only funny thing about it) is that she thinks it’s so funny.

did i mention she actually cried a few tears when she read my note? well, she did. i‘ve maybe seen her cry once before in my life. (it’s kinda personal, so i won’t share the note.) then, in typical alz fashion, she asked (again) if I knew about her calling luke “her little oops.” and of course she never quite figured out what i meant when i told her i made the card.

in her mind…it was just there. 50-year-old family memento and all. So in the moment. (sigh)

mother’s day extravaganza at VT after the jump. be there. or be square…


so, after the card-opening in her room and all, we went downstairs together for a party the facility put on for mother’s day.

simply put: it was elegant.

the entertainer was a “big band vocalist.” a handsome, young man who sang “the love songs of frank and friends.” (that's him there.)

his brother “played” some sort of digital keyboard/synthesizer that backed him up perfectly.
their mother sat demurely in a chair off to the side.

he began by singing “yooo aaare so beautifuuulll, to meee...” over and over until he’d gone all around the room and personally spoken to, kissed or shaken hands with every single mom there.
at one point in his show, the crooner danced with his own mom. it was…well…i thought it was downright elegant.

each mom also got a carnation and a little gift bag. (i had to confiscate several items from mom’s that are taboo on the Alzheimer’s unit.) even the fake flower arrangements on the tables, that we were encouraged to take with us, were…very nice, if not elegant.

what else?

- we were served champagne.
- coffee and tea were available.
- several resident moms had gotten together and made the richest, most delicious chocolate candies for everyone. they were only the size of a small reese’s, but with 3 or 4 different layers of chocolate. each layer with a different hardness, texture and sweetness. somehow they’d infused the whole thing with a raspberry filling and i’m here to tell you - they were Really good. (and dare i say…elegant?)
- there was a cheese and fruit plate. but get this. the server came around with tongs and a cart and individually loaded each lady’s plate with their personal preferences of grapes, melons, strawberries and several types of cheese.

now you tell me…is that fucking elegant or what?

the whole party lasted 2 hours. about 1 ½ hours into it, something even more unexpected happened. A pizza delivery guy showed up.

this is just weird. Pizza with Champagne? and we’ve already snacked to our hearts’ content? besides, freaking dinner was less than an hour away…as I was looking, with my head already cocked in disbelief, wondering at the 6’ 5”, 240 lb., movie-star-looking guy holding the insulated pizza containers over his head, ** suddenly the music changed. the keyboardist went into a really slow, evocative cadence. as the “delivery” guy set the pizzas down he very slowly took his shirt off...and then his pants...

My God!
you’da thought you were at a bachelorette party for a bunch of horny 20 year old girls rather than in a room full of 70 and 80-somethings! i bet you’ve never heard such hootin’ and hollerin’ and carryin’ on. i’ve for sure never personally seen nor heard anything like it myself.

maybe not so elegant, but it sure as cornbreadhell was fun.

Note: there was only one heart attack. - Jan, the activity director who’d put on the rest of the party, had nothing to do with the stripper part. and she certainly didn't order pizza.

may she rest in peace.


** from the double asterisk on is completely from my imagination and did NOT happen. (at least not yesterday at VT.) the rest of the story is true in every single detail. including the pizza delivery intended for a private party somewhere else in the building.

and a Happy Mother’s Day to you all.


Cinnamin said...

And here I was, imagining the whole group racing, walkers rolling at an amazing pace, to their rooms to dig out one dollar bills…

Some pizza party!!

The card that you made for your Mom really touched my heart, Rick. So sweet! You sure love this lady, and it comes shining through in every post that I’ve read about her here. I’m glad that you were able to spend Mother’s Day with her!

Anonymous said...

you are hilarious!

...and so precious.


Annie said...

Poor Jan.

~Betsy said...

Sounds like a great party - even if part of it was imagined!

¸.•*´)ღ¸.•*´Chris said...

The card you made for your mother is amazing. My dad always told me to just make him a card, that it would mean so much more than anything I could ever give him. Such a sweetheart you are.

Love the party...yes, absolutely elegant. I could feel my eyes get bigger as I continued to read. Maybe a little strippin is what those sweet ladies might have needed? I can imagine the stampede of walkers and wheelchairs to gather $1 bills. What a hoot!

What a wonderful day you gave to your mother. My heart is warmed by this. ((((Hugs)))

rilera said...

I have tears in my eyes. Thanks for sharing this special moment with your mom. BTW, Mom calls me the 'best mistake she ever made' (yup, I'm an 'oops' too.)

rainbowheart said...

The little oops was funny. I think that I was the little oops in my of twins. It is good to hear that you have a wonderful day with you Mom. The dinner sounded really nice. The card you made was wonderful. Take care and have a good weekend..