Mama was apparently napping, in bed, when I arrived yesterday afternoon but greeted me with a smile after a bit of prodding.
It amazes me how “with it” Mama is while I tell her stories. She is a great audience, catching jokes and laughing at the right times and rarely attempting to take command of the narrative. She does ask relevant questions and at times seems to understand where she fits within a story. By assuming a third person persona and story teller I avoid hitting road blocks where she must demonstrate awareness of other characters and her relationship to them. She happily listens and … has fun.
I find my story telling to be cathartic for me. At times I surprise myself with some of the things that come to mind to tell her about. Yesterday I recounted a time I was walking in the field with Granddaddy Bee. I described watching him walk just ahead, and to the side, of me gently grasping a rifle as one would a suitcase. He carried himself such that I perceived his environmental command and self-confidence and I was so very much impressed. His gait and the gentle swing of his arm provided a cadence that fit my receptors well and made me feel good being close to him. I was his, and he was mine, and we were alone, together. This scene is branded in my memory and is the most endearing imagery I have of my grandfather. I mentioned how silly it must all must sound and Mama looked at me with a solemn and knowing expression and assured me it was not. She demonstrated real understanding, compassion and affection for me. It felt like a burgeoning friendship. It felt like love.
Mama knows she loves me very deeply. I must accept that it is the man that comes to visit her that she loves, rather than me as her son. I am convinced she knows I come visit her regularly and it is that guy she loves. Only when another person accompanies me, or staff is present, do I ever acknowledge our relationship. This creates sadness within me on a certain level, but denial of it plays to my advantage and I am able to mostly be “okay” on leaving.
Mama’s eyes were shiny and bright and she felt good while I was with her.
Jan has been doing some bodacious awesome work with the facility management and staff and we look soon to be back to a “normal” living scenario for Mama that could persist for the foreseeable future, future falls notwithstanding. She has not fallen again since last weekend, that I know of, and we hope this is a sign that her mind is growing accustomed to her new diminished physical capabilities.
I appreciate your patience with these updates as I know I go on perhaps too much about me and perhaps not enough about Mama. Heck, she’s the only reason we (you and me) get together here each week. If they become overly boorish, create a rule for these updates to rout them to their deserved destination, a.k.a. the Trash Bin. (BTW … that’s a plea from me to you for your love and support. This is harder than it looks.)