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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Banquet at the Assisted Living Center

Hi, tonite was the quarterly banquet at the assisted living center where my mom lives. Every three months, they have a special dinner where all the folks get dressed up, invite one or two non-residents, and we have a four-course meal (I think it's four courses, anyhow!)

Tonite was the Valentines banquet. We had roast pork, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cornbread, soup, salad, dessert, and non-alcoholic punch, too. Yesterday, I came up with an outfit for my mom to wear, and put it together for her. The top was a red sweatshirt that she had never worn before, that my brother and his wife gave her this past Christmas. "There's Snow-one like my Grandkids!", is what it says on the front. She hadn't worn it before--she tends to prefer certain things, even though some of them are getting rather threadbare.

We went to the banquet, and almost all of the ladies were wearing red, so I was glad I had a little foresight and fashion sense (haha--if you really knew me, you'd know how big of a joke that is), to set Mom up with a red sweatshirt. DH came too, he told me that he enjoys the banquets--and I always thought he only went because he thought I'd be mad if he didn't!

Anyhow, one of the ladies complimented my mom on her sweatshirt, and she told me "I don't know where this came from!" Even though I had told her yesterday that it had been a Christmas present from my brother, she not only didn't remember receiving it, but she did not remember me telling her yesterday where it came from.

Her dementia is mild for the most part--if you don't use a lot of big words or abstract concepts, you can have a good converstaion with her, but when she says things like that, I am reminded of it, and I get sad. And then I feel guilty, wondering if there was something I could do differently that would help her somehow....lately I've felt terrible because I'm working so much, I'm hardly spending time with my mom at all any more. But my only other alternative would be to have her help me out financially, and while I know it wouldn't hurt her bank account at all, well, I just don't like the idea at all. Especially when I am honest with myself about her mental state, even though she offers me money all the time, it somehow would feel like taking advantage, because sometimes she's not as "there" as she used to be.

So it's kind of a catch-22. And maybe there's some pride there, too.
I hate that my mom is old. I hate that she's losing her memory and her judgment. This is one of the worst things that people have to go through, both on her end and on mine. Watching my mom decline has actually been harder on me than DH's bipolar. Or working 2 jobs. Or being broke. I'd take all of those things ten times over, if it would make my mom better. Sorry about this, it's just what's on my mind tonite.

On the up side, when I expressed these thoughts to DH (who, tonite, is still acting like my regular DH), he recommended this: "Why don't you two make a date and go to Dairy Queen (my mom's favorite restaurant) tomorrow for supper instead of cooking for us?"

Who is he and where did he put DH.