Thursday, October 2, 2008

Winding Down

My Mom is 87 years old, deep in dementia, and has been living in a home for several years, moving from independent to assisted living, and about 2 years ago into the nursing care section. She is very well cared for considering the depth of her condition, and we are fortunate that the home’s endowment has helped her even after her money was long gone.

Her memory has been steadily deteriorating for several years. It is frustrating for my two girls to visit her. Although they love their Grammie, a conversation with her pretty much runs on a 2-3 minute loop which comes back on itself several times in the course of a visit. Even so, although she may not know what day it is, or remember who visited the day before (or a half hour before), when I go to see her she recognizes me, and is glad to see me.

I visited last Sunday and found her to be in very bad shape, barely able to communicate. Not in pain I think, but more muddled and confused. She seemed to recognize me, but I don’t think she could come up with my name. A week before, she was bright and cheery – as she has been for about the last 6 months. The recent decline is dramatic.

I received this email from one of my older brothers today. He holds power of attorney for my Mother and so does most of the interfacing with her caregivers.

I have been on the phone with havenwood every couple of days. We have a conference for anyone who can attended next Tuesday.7 October at 2 pm to discuss care of mother. They have asked me to go thru her wishes . She is losing weight  her Brest cancer has gone into her lungs. and she is not eating. She has oxygen now some of the time. she is restricted to her chair. they do not feel she is strong enough to move around on her own. I will email anyone who is not there next week to update them. She is getting the best of care. the people at havenwood are great.

Ron we should get together soon and discuss your plots. I know that she wants to be buried beside grandpa Rowell, and I think we have discussed that long ago, But it would be easier to discuss that again, now,if you can .  Bob ,and Diane, Aunt Sue, or anyone who would like to come, you are welcome to come and stay with us anytime you wish.

I will have a better time frame of things after the conference.

I am the youngest of 6 boys. Mom has lived an amazing life full of trouble and triumph. She was born a French citizen and brought to the US by her adoptive father at age 6, after her own mother died. She outlived 4 husbands in all. My father, her second husband, died when I was only 5 leaving her with 4 boys at home. I can’t imagine the strength it took her to bring us up, but she did, and I guess she did a passable job. I look at her and try to see that strength that is still in her. I can almost see her winding down.

Now it sounds like she may be nearing her end here. Mostly, I’m thinking that she will finally be Home Free. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We prayed for you, your mother and family today in church.

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