Saturday, March 1, 2014
SLICE OF LIFE #1/31
Saturday morning. The alarm goes off at 4:30. I drive two hours through snow and fog to see my mom. She is in the hospital recovering from emergency brain surgery. Has spent the last week on the rehab floor.
I am still trying to get used to this new mom. Two weeks ago I went to visit her in Colorado Springs. She wanted to go to Target. And, like always, I had to hurry to keep up with my almost eighty-year-old mother.
Two days after that, I got a call that she had collapsed. Was in the emergency room. Needed a shunt installed in her brain. And now she's learning to get around again. She still doesn't have very good balance, so she's using a walker.
On Thursday, she will be released from the hospital. But not to the patio home where she has lived for the past twenty years since my dad died. Instead, she will be heading to a an assisted living facility.
So today I spent time with my mom. I went with her to occupational therapy. I sat with her while she ate warmed over French toast after occupational therapy. Went and got her coffee from the Starbucks in the hospital lobby. Talked about dismantling her home as she prepares to move from a 3000-square-foot patio home into an 1100-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment. We talked about who would take the Christmas decorations. The patio furniture and grill. Twenty years of books.
Then my sisters arrived and we went to look at the facility they have selected. It's very nice. A dining room/restaurant where my mom can eat meals as often as she wants. A movie theater. Craft room. Swimming pool. Gym. Beauty parlor. Gift shop. Lots of activities. The apartment is sunny and light. It has lots of storage space. An alert button in every room.
I think my mom will like the new place. I think she'll be less lonely than she has been for the past few years. And it will be safer, should she fall and need help.
At the same time, my heart is really heavy tonight. Somehow, until this month, my mom has never seemed old.
And now she does.