Friday, July 16, 2010

Painting on the windows and.........

I won't put all of the paintings on this site since I put them on my   site, but I thought I'd share this one.  
Things have been anything but sunny for Mother the last few days.  I always say, "You have to laugh to keep from crying," but there are days when I just can't laugh.  Yesterday was one of them.  Mother kept saying something that we couldn't understand and that only frustrated her more so that her voice became even harder to understand. 
Finally, I realized that she was asking me if I could see myself in the mirror.  
When I told her, "Yes," she said she wanted to see herself.  So, I found the activity director who had a hand mirror that they use on the days that the ladies get all prettied up with make-up, etc...  I held the mirror for Mother to see and she did not like what she saw.  I really hadn't thought about the fact that she hasn't seen herself in a really long time.  I have no idea when she last looked in a mirror.  Anyway, she wanted to know what she could do to look better. 
I said, "Well, we could put make-up on you, but you don't need it because you look pretty the way you are."  
Make-up was the WRONG thing to say to this lady who never has had any make-up on in her entire life.  She didn't think a person should wear make-up, dye his/her hair, or have pierced ears,  etc.....  She said that is not what God intended, etc....  I had to sneak and buy my first make-up when my sister suggested that's what I should do.  When I started coloring my hair to cover the gray and got my ears pierced Mother wasn't happy, but seeing as how I was a grown married woman by then there wasn't much she could say about it.  
So, when I said the M word, she freaked out and wanted it washed off, now!  
Now!  Wash it off now!
She was finally consoled when I washed and washed and washed her face.  Then she wanted to get out of her chair.  
I want out of my chair.  Get me out of my chair, now.  Please get me out of my chair.  Why won't you get me out of my chair.
All of this was taking place in the dining room just before lunch time, so there were other residents and some of their family members there.  I asked one of the CNAs if we could just take Mother and put her to bed.  I would feed her in her room.
Oh yeah, Mother loves tomato sandwiches, so I had taken her a couple of slices from a tomato that we had just gotten from the garden, a couple of slices of bread, some mayonnaise, salt and pepper.  I made her a sandwich. This was sometime between the mirror episode and the wanting out of her chair.  When we went to her room, I just left the sandwich on the table - she refused to eat it or anything.
After we got her settled in bed, I went back to the dining room and found another resident eating her sandwich!  Some of the staff thought I'd be upset!  I just laughed.  I'm glad he enjoyed the sandwich since Mother didn't.  This man eats off everyone's trays if no one is watching.  He's hungry!!!  They usually bring him two trays of food.  He's very thin so it's not going to hurt him!
Mother went to sleep, finally, and didn't really wake up again until just before supper time tonight.  When she woke up I was arranging her family photographs.  They keep falling off her bulletin board so I bought two poster frames and put them in those.  I hope this works.  We need to have them fixed where they can be moved out of her room on those nights when she is dreaming that bad things are happening to children.  (Remember that she was a social worker for the Department of Children Services.)I've decided that when she sees these photos it upsets her sometimes.  But, on her good days, she loves seeing them.  She woke up wanting a bath mat?  It took me a while to realize that she meant bath robe.  She really doesn't have a robe at the nursing home because if she's up in her chair, she's dressed in her clothes.  So, I got one of her shawls that I made her, and that satisfied her, sort of anyway.  She kept saying that she needed to be ready when the people come.  I told her that no one was coming.  I WAS WRONG!  Our preacher actually did come.  
She looked up at me and said, "I told you people were coming."  I guess she got me.  Ha!
It's just so frustrating for me, the staff, and Mother when we can't understand what it is she wants.


  1. I understand the 'frustrating'. I understand... God bless you and your mother. You are such a good daughter. You are a beacon of light in your mother's day. Thank you for sharing this 'day in your life' and that of your mother.

  2. Julia- sending you a hug today. Sometimes it's so hard. Some days I wish soooo much that I was close enough to come have a visit and a cup of tea with you ♥

  3. Don't stop writing about your mother. I enjoy reading it as it brings back memories of my Mom at her nursing home. I only wish I had done more for her like you do for your Mom.
    My mother was very lucid and I felt she didn't
    need to be there but she wanted to be taken care of. Not by her children but by strangers and it was very hard on me, the youngest of 3 to understand that. However, I do now.
    There will be jewels in your crown when you get to heaven Julia.