Mom and Dad had two dogs. The boarder collie died about a month ago and today we had to say good bye to Lady. Dogs are wonderful companions but their lives are relatively short and it's very difficult to lose them. Since Linda died Lady has taken to following dad down the road or in the back 40. On Wednesday, when he came home she wasn't around. After some investigation, the neighbor reported that another neighbor took her to the human society. They didn't know where she belonged.
Dad struggled with the decision to bring her home. She was having difficulty getting around, she was deaf and just all around old. She had never been on a chain or in a pen and how would he keep track of her if he brought her home. My husband said he would take care of her so dad agreed. Not something he probably ever would have done on his own but I feel better knowing the dog isn't wondering off somewhere. Dad has another adjustment to make. He is very lonely.
We visited mom today and she was in the mood to go home. I told her she had jobs to do and the staff helped out by giving her a box of towels to fold as we were leaving. It really is important for mom to feel useful and needed. She looked great today. Her hair was done up, short and curled and she had a pink striped shirt and good fitting jeans.
She seemed especially confused today. When I came she was glad to see me but didn't seem to know who I was. We looked at photo albums of our trip to Oklahoma and she asked who my sisters were. I told her, "That's Ceil. She is your daughter in Missouri. She comes to Wisconsin for long visits." She just said, "Well, if you say so." Whenever mom answers with that, I'm pretty sure she doesn't have a clue what I'm talking about. This disease is awful and I can't imagine what it must feel like to lose your memories. I pray that she isn't scared. The staff says that she is doing fine most of the time. She continues to enjoy the live music and dancing and coffee breaks with treats and some games.
On days like today when I visit mom with dad, I feel like I'm juggling something delicate. I try to keep the conversation going. Getting coffee and cookies and exclaiming how it all tastes good and then looking at photos and getting baby Katie and reassuring mom that her baby doll is just fine and that she is getting plenty to eat and then I'm convincing mom that she can't come home today because Don and I both have to get back to work and besides she has a job to do there and yes, I will check on grandma and grandpa and on and on and on....
Some days I'm o.k. with the situation and other times I want to scream. "ISN'T THERE SOMEONE ELSE THAT CAN DO THIS BESIDES ME????" I know that it is silly to waste energy, time and emotions on something I can't change but it still saddens me when I think my brothers are not pitching in at all. Someone told me that they thought it was too difficult for them. What a bunch of bullshit. It's difficult for everyone but some of us know that now is the time mom and dad need us. O.k. there were problems in the past but with out a doubt I know that mom would want all of her children pitching in and supporting her husband and her.
I thank God for giving Mom a safe place to be and I also am thankful for the time I have with my parents.