This day ended with a viewing of Julia Roberts’ current movie, “Eat, Pray, Love.” (Our review: Great scenery, good plot, predictable ending. A good rental.)
This day began with Mom eating at McDonalds for the first time ever. As hard as it is to believe, that’s what she says. Thusly nourished, we visited another of her former caregivers at Wagon Wheel Ranch. As before, Mom was swamped by residents and employees alike. She loves this kind of attention and was her usually gracious self.
Then came her semi-annual dental cleaning, followed by a visit to Walmart to pick up a few necessities including a booster pillow for her chair in the dining room at Piedmont Place. As things are now, Mom’s chin barely clears the top of the table. She really is that short. It’s almost comical.
While at PP, I did my usual business with various caregivers and administration. The PP doctor and I discussed Mom’s prescribed use of a walker since returning from the hospital a couple of weeks ago. The doctor argued that Mom is a falling risk, which, of course, she is. I argued that if Mom’s blood pressure dipped at any point, she would fall whether she was using a walker or not. The doctor agreed that if using the walker was disagreeable to Mom, it could be removed as a requirement. I agreed that the subject is subject to revisitation at any time. Mom is happy.
Lisa, in the meantime, was talking with Mom in her now-palatial room. Mom mentioned that she intended to write thank you cards to everyone who attended Pop’s funeral; about seventy people. I was told of this much later as we drove home from the movie, and I objected. Lisa’s position was that Mom has all day now, and can use the time to do something productive like writing cards. My position was that writing cards was exhausting for Mom, and that more than a couple per day would ruin the already poor muscular control in her fingers.
It wasn’t that long ago that Mom and I had this same discussion, but about Christmas cards; she had a long list. I volunteered myself and Lisa and Elizabeth to write and address the cards ready for Mom’s signing. She thought this was a wonderful idea. The very next day, she told me that she wanted to write them herself. I said that was fine, and suggested that one or two per day starting now would keep her from frying her hands. She agreed. Now add to that the funeral cards.
I have an end table to build for Mom tomorrow, and I can just hear this discussion coming up.
Me: I hear that you’re going to write ‘Thank You’ cards to everyone who came to Pop’s funeral.
Mom: Yes, I am.
Me: Mom, there is absolutely no protocol that says you have to do that. Maybe you could send cards just to people who made donations to Pop’s charity, but that’s about it.
Mom: That’s such a burden lifted from me. Wonderful !!!
I’d like to bring back the point Lisa made. “Mom has all day now, and can use the time to do something productive like writing cards.” Lisa is right, of course, and if Mom wants to do that, why shouldn’t she? My concern was more physical, I think. But as I thought about it more, I wondered if I was being overly protective or maybe even controlling? I want Mom to be free to do whatever she wants to do within the realm of reason and safety. My current role as her ‘parent’ should be one that gives her that permission. Still, I’m concerned for her. And I’m wondering about me.
I would much appreciate your thoughts about these matters. Thanks.