Today was a day I had dedicated to Mom, well most of it anyway. My two sisters and I decided we needed to clean out her closet of clothes since she had lost so much weight, most things were just hanging on her. The girls in the Village who assist her in getting up and moving each morning thought this a good idea.
She also has a storage closet that hasn’t been touched since she moved in in Nov. of 2010. This meant a lot of containers of wool, knitting needles, Christmas gift bags, tissue paper, puzzles, lawn chairs, books, a card table and numerous other things that she used at that time.
|A plaque to help Mom remember us|
Things have definitely changed for Mom now and she rarely works on a jigsaw puzzle, reads a book, knits or for that matter even opens the storage closet door. Once an avid and excellent knitter, we can’t deny that the chances she will get back at it are slim but she has moments of clarity where she might just think one day “where is my wool, I should knit something?” Because of these moments, we will leave a few colours of wool and needles available for her to at least see if she gets that desire.
Puzzles were also one of Mom’s joys all of her life. As a family we would have a large 1000 pc. puzzle on the go all the time. Mom had a plastic quilted table cloth she used to cover it if she was entertaining and needed the dining table. This left the puzzle undisturbed underneath until we could get back at it again.
|Gathered around the small puzzle area in Mom's apartment 2014|
I have many great memories of Mom and Daddy sitting there after dinner or in the middle of the afternoon when we lived in Lucan, hunting for ‘one more piece’ before they walked away.
I’ll bet Mom had 30 different puzzles in her cupboard from 500 to 2000 pcs. So I chose wisely and left about 8 of the smaller, easier ones in the hopes that one day she’ll want to attempt one again. Both Donna and I will enjoy working on these with her if that should happen. With her failing memory, also her patience has deteriorated and finding the right piece has been too much of a challenge for her.
Bill and I will take these puzzles to the senior complex in Stratford where his parents reside. They will make plenty of use out of them.
So, when I arrived I sat with Mom and chit chatted about nothing mostly. She appeared tired out but after 15 minutes or so I suggested she play me a song on her organ. Mind you, she hasn’t been on her organ since before she got sick so at least 3 or 4 months. Mom plays piano by ear, at least for the most part. I know she had lessons as a young gal and she even remembers the fellow who taught her.
|Turning on the right buttons|
|Getting into the groove|
She wasn’t keen at first on playing only because “I doubt I will remember how to play!” but it didn’t take too much convincing to get her up off the couch to walk the few steps. This was encouraging to me, it meant she really wanted to try. Mom’s humour is at the forefront of most of our conversations and when she is feeling good and peppy, it presents itself often. When I mentioned “tickle the ivories” she laughed and said “I can do that, whether it makes any sounds is something else”.
She sat, we pressed some buttons to get her familiar and she started fiddling with the keys. I think it will take time so will make a point to get her at it more often. We played a few rounds of chopsticks and she dabbled with another familiar song while Gayle and Donna worked away in her bedroom.
It was confusing for Mom if she was just sitting and watching us, she kept asking if we were moving her out. Heart breaking when she’d ask questions that indicated she didn’t know that her apartment was her home. She is fragile now, her mind being what it is so we arranged to do a lot of the cleansing when she was downstairs for her lunch but there was no way it could be done in an hour.
|A good day, some with Mom, some working like banshees!|
When we left, her spirits were good and nothing looked outwardly different for her so she would settle back to normal. Her dresser drawers are labelled for her and the girls who help her in the morning and we have removed some of the hidden clutter. Donna and I plan a trip to Value Village to refurbish her closet with a size that actually fits her. No point in spending a lot of money, she will hopefully gain a few more pounds soon!
Well, it was a good few hours although the heat in her apartment is exhausting. I’m sure I will be the same in my elder years, always needing a sweater in the most temperate environments!
Thanks for reading, I hope your day was a good one whatever you got up to.