I know lots of my “warmer weather” friends think I am nuts, but I adore winter. I was so excited to get the snow we had yesterday. It turns even the ugliest places into a white oasis. So, so pretty. The snow started as almost a heavy rain. I was hoping the temps would drop because wet snow is a pain in the neck, and the colder it is, the drier the snow. We had a doctor’s appointment for my mom and when we went into the medical building, it was wet and annoying (we had to walk so very carefully). When we came out, the world was white and the snow was falling a little faster. We carefully made our way home, sliding here and there on the roads, as we did so. We had fire trucks, EMT vehicles, and ambulances race past us on more than one occasion. Not our first snow this year, but it was the first one that stuck. After we got home, the snowflakes began to fall, to waft gently to the ground, and they were coming straight down. I was so happy.
If you will look at the photo above, it is grainy looking because I have ice stuck to my windshield. But there are two little red dots in the photo. Those are stakes that are on either side of our driveway, that are supposed to guide us in snowy weather, to enter and leave the driveway. Imagine my surprise, when backing out of the garage on the morning of our first snow, when I almost ran over one. Yeah. White stakes with little, red, reflector dots on them are stupid. I mean really dumb. You cannot see them! Even with a back up camera! I had to pull forward and try again – twice. Of course, my family thinks this is hilarious. For whatever reason, as I have gotten older, backing up gives me grief. Even with a back-up camera! I avoid it if I can, well, except going into and out of the garage!
Sunrise today (above) was so beautiful. The white everywhere, and the freeze on top of that. It was a beautifully crisp 7-degrees outside this morning. I was reveling in the white backdrop and the cold. My mom was up and so I got her some coffee. I had her go look out the window and she was so surprised. She did not recall our snow experience yesterday. I almost wept. I had introduced her to the wonderful crunching sound of walking on fresh, cold, snow. We had laughed and she had made some funny jokes about her hair getting messed up, as we made our way to the car after her doctor’s appointment. We lost an entire day.
The sun has been shining into the house all day. And it is beautiful. My mom is still confusing light with warmth and I had to remind her that we were up to 10-degrees at lunchtime. She then said it was beautiful outside, but she would like to stay indoors! LOL! Can’t say as I blame her! But one of my favorite quotes goes something like, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.” Which basically means you can go outside in anything, if you are prepared for it and wear appropriate clothing – and that applies in either heat or cold.
As I sat down to complete the paperwork for mom’s next step in healthcare, because we had lost an entire day, it was all new to her. And I had to explain what was happening. She was shocked. And we spoke about our other visits to medical professionals over the past week, and it was news to her all over again. This morning, as I handed her a gourmet breakfast of a bowl of Life cereal, she told me she didn’t understand why I would be feeding her again. She swore she had already eaten. I had to remind her that no, it was just a cup of coffee. She shrugged her shoulders and said, “Well, I trust you, so I will eat now.” And when I handed her another gourmet meal of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (I added bar-b-que chips, which upped it to gourmet, dontcha know?!?) she said to me, “Oh, I guess it’s time to eat again!” But she complimented me over and over again about the “lovely” sandwich. Ha-Ha. Whenever we discuss what to eat, she ALWAYS suggests a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When we were watching a cooking show about Thanksgiving prep, she said, “I think we should all have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, because it is so much easier.” Ha-Ha…yes, it is easier! But this whole morning made me sad. I had to leave the room and just weep for a little bit.
When you have a baby and choose to parent that child into adulthood, it is an organic sort of thing. Even when you adopt a child, you grow into your parenting role with that child. As they age, the role changes a little bit. Different ages call for different approaches. But when you take on the responsibility of a dependent parent, moving them into your home, all that responsibility for the life of another person sort of slams into you. There is no real time for an organic growth to happen; no time to grow into it. And when there is a dementing illness, combined with health issues, you become responsible in ways you could never imagine. We have all the issues of bathing, eating, dressing, sleeping. Add to that healthcare issues and you have the potential for a huge disaster. And the potential for caregiver meltdown! Ha-Ha!
Tonight we get to go to the airport, which is about 45 minutes away, to retrieve my youngest son. We will have dinner beforehand at my oldest son’s house. And even though my mom has no memory of her vanilla latte at a really fun restaurant, with some wonderful friends yesterday; even though she has no memory of her doctor’s visits and her diagnoses and future treatments; and even though she doesn’t remember crunching through the snow with me as we laughed and giggled, we will endeavor to make these days at least happy ones. She gets to wear her new coat (that she swears she has owned for years) and her new boots I got for her. And each day she gets to watch Harry Connick Jr. and Steve Harvey, and endless game shows, laughing through the day. She gets to make memories for her grandchildren and great grandchildren. And even if she doesn’t recall them, those memories are held tightly by those around her, who love her dearly.