1. I arrived at Mom's at 9:30. She was dressed and in her wheelchair. I sat with her as she tried to read Saturday's newspaper. She had trouble holding it and she wavered between being awake and asleep. I'm just documenting my experience, not complaining, when I say Mom didn't acknowledge my arrival and hardly spoke until she told me at 11:00 that she wanted to return to her bed. Two aides brought in the Hoyer Lift and transferred Mom. Mom has been anxious about these transfers when they have been performed by an aide having Mom hug her and stand up, but she was calm when the aides moved her with the machine.
Mom went to sleep instantly. I sat with her until 1:30, reading mostly. Mom slept serenely.
2. I returned to be with Mom at 4:00. Mom was sleeping. Christy told me that Mom had had a conversation with Tina, a family friend who is Carol's age, and they talked about a family Tina knows and Mom knew from the Peck-Gifford-Reubens area. At around 5:40, Nettie, an aide, brought in Mom's dinner and asked Mom if she wanted to sit up and eat. Mom said she did. Christy had put in order for cottage cheese and peaches rather than a regular dinner plate and Mom seemed much more pleased with this and ate her entire helping and drank most of a bottle of Ensure.
Mom talked with me in the way she does now since the vascular dementia has taken hold. She asked about whether different parts of the house were cleaned and asked me if she had watered the plants. She admired the silk flowers with lights in them that Amy and Tim brought for her earlier in the day. She wondered if Jody and Jack were coming. I told her they weren't, but that her niece, Judy, and Judy's daughter, Angie, would be arriving from Boise on Monday. We're all looking forward to visiting with them and it will be a real boost for Mom.
On my way back to Mom's, as I left Kindred, I had a good talk with Peny Benson who lives at Kindred. She told me about how hospice had helped her husband, Wayne (our junior high band teacher), die in a relaxed and peaceful way and how she held his hand and told him it was all right. We agreed that helping a loved one die is difficult. We also agreed that we know what we need to do to help our loved ones as they begin to leave us: be there. We squeezed hands and I left.
3. During the day, the Deke bought some flat iron steaks and corn on the cob and made potato salad. I returned from being with Mom and we went over to Christy and Everett's where I grilled the steaks and we enjoyed a great summer dinner together.