Saturday, April 21, 2012


Last night, Jerry and I went down the street to have dinner with his Mother who lives at Countrywood Assisted Living Center.  We called ahead and asked to have dinner with her last night which was at 5 PM.  The house she owns but no longer remembers owning is just 5 blocks away.  I haven't been to see her for several months, and we never know what mental condition we will find her in.

These places cost a lot of money, and someone is supposed to help the residents whenever necessary -- BUT, Mom can't remember how to tell someone she needs them.   We walked into Apartment #10 where she now lives, and she was standing in a puddle of water in her bathroom.  I immediately noticed that the toilet was full and running over the top.  Heaven only knows how long it had been that way.  I went and got someone to fix it, and Jerry kept trying to get his Mother OUT of the puddle of water.  She insisted there WASN'T any water on the floor.

It is Mom's responsibility to furnish her own toiletries such as soap and toilet paper.  Whenever I am in town, I bring armloads of tp into her bathroom and put it on the shelf, however, I had not thought to take any last night.  I checked the shelf, and there was NO tp at all.  Like I said, she doesn't know how to tell anyone, and even with three typed notes taped to her mirror and walls, nobody ever calls me.  She can talk and walk just fine, but her mind doesn't keep up.  Anyway, the three of us went out to the dining room to eat.  It was more like a snack than a meal, but Mom didn't eat over two bites.  I'm sure they don't care if we starve.  Dinner was 1/2 baked potato and a little salad with a boiled egg on it.  I thought it was a nice appetizer.

About midway through dinner, Mom got up and said she had to take a trip.  I figured she meant she had to go to the bathroom.  She didn't walk to her room though.  She walked the opposite direction down the long hall.  I ran over to see where she was going, and I saw her walk into the public restroom.  I thought she probably just didn't realize her toilet had been fixed, so I went and sat back down at the table.
A few minutes later, I saw Mom walking back from the hallway and over to her apartment with her arms FULL OF TOILET PAPER ROLLS she had gotten out of the public restroom.  I knew she was not supposed to take those.  I ran over to her, and I walked with her into her bathroom.  I said, "Mom, where did you get that toilet paper?"  She looked at me so funny and said, "What do you MEAN?"  I asked her again where she got the toilet paper.  She said, "Well, I got it where I ALWAYS get it, from the County Store!" 

Mom was always the social chairman for this entire little town she has lived in for 50 years.  She ran The Senior Center and made sure there were plenty of games for everyone to play.  Every holiday, Mom would come with all kinds of domino, board and card games, and she would insist we all play games.  She still remembers that she loves to play games, but she doesn't still remember HOW to play them.  While we were eating, she asked us if we remembered the rules to any games.  She wanted to play a game.  There was one other man at our table named Dee.  We decided Mom could probably remember how to play Dominoes easier than Canasta, so we went into her room to find Dominoes.  She had at least 10 boxes of double nines, so that was easy!  Dee said he would join us at the card table in the common area.  A very nice room. 

Jerry was the score keeper and I was the reminder-of-whose-turn-it-was.  Mom had it in her head we were playing cards.  She kept yelling at Dee that he could only draw ONE card.  He would turn his head to her with both his hearing aids poking out his ears and scream, "HUH?"  Mom was amazing at figuring out what domino to play and how to add everything up.  The longer we played, the better she got.  Poor Dee though.  Not only was he as deaf as a doorknob, he couldn't remember how to add.  He thought every domino had a 6 on it.  He did okay with our help though.  Mom -- always the amazing hostess -- went into her room and brought out a package of Almond Joys and passed them around.  It was a lot of fun.

We finally told Mom we had to leave.  I started putting the dominoes back in the box, but she insisted she could do it.  I figured she probably needed something to do, so I left them.  I got up from the table, told her we had to get back home, and gave her a big hug.  Jerry went over and hugged her and told her he loved her.  Then we walked out to the parking lot to Jerry's funny little van.  We were about to back out when Mom came walking up to the driver-side window.  She almost always does that, but I didn't think she would this time because it was alrmost dark outside.  Jerry rolled down the window and said, "Mom!, what are you doing out here?"  She said, "You didn't tell me Goodbye."  Bless her heart.  It must be so awful to be locked inside a 92-year old body with a worn out memory bank.

We are still in Kingfisher today.  Jerry is sanding doors and fixing garden drains.  I am cleaning and touching up paint and doing laundry.  The work never ends here.  We met with a realtor this morning.  I guess we will go ahead and list the house with her.  I HATE to do that.  We have always sold our homes ourselves, but this one isn't ours, and we live so far away.  I pray it sells real soon so we won't have to worry about upkeep and keeping it "lived in" so the insurance company will insure it.

Haven't sewn in four days.  I'll be excited to get back to it.  For now, I better get back to work here.

Hugs, Joy 


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Hugs, Joy