The last time I wrote about my mom was January 10 ( Polar Vortex at the Nursing Home)
Even though that’s less than 50 days, three major things have happened. Regular readers know she is a wise, ornery gal living out her life in a nursing home. This wasn’t her “life plan” and after eight months she is settled into her “end of life routine.” Once again, I can’t stress enough, this is not a routine or a place she wants to be. Her “wise” part accepts this life challenge and her “ornery” part keeps a few dozen people in stitches…every day.
Major thing #1) I reported on 1/10 that because of the Polar Vortex (which is back again this week), the cooks were snowed in and Mom had her first ever Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich. Well, she just had her second…ever. The dish washer broke so once again, sack lunches with P&B’s inside. She said she knew what to expect this time before biting into it. I think she really likes them but so far I can only get — “its okay.”
Major thing #2) Mom was very sick with a bad cold. It was early February. They gave her a round of antibiotics and things got much worse and turned into pneumonia in one lung. It was worry time. They kept her sitting up for a few days so the fluid would drain and not get into the other lung. She was depressed. Her voice was horrible and so was her attitude. She said, “You know, I think about laying down when they leave the room. I think this could speed things up. I’m ready to die and now might be the time.”
Knowing her like I do, she wasn’t manipulating to hear me try to tell her how much she needs to fight or stay with us a while longer. I wouldn’t do that anyway. I understand her attitude and know I would feel exactly the same. I would probably lay down and hold my breath…or something. I told her, “Mom, I’m sorry this crap is happening to you now. Your health has been pretty good the last few decades. I know you are doing your best.”
She said, “They’re starting me on another round of antibiotics tomorrow, so we’ll see. I think my body can’t tell an antibiotic from a vitamin. They ain’t doing me any good. Good night.”
Major Thing #3) It was three days later. As soon I heard her answer, I knew she was well. Her voice sounded like her and was upbeat. She said she knew it was me calling because she always recognizes my ring. It’s different than the other rings. She announced she was recovering and felt as good as she has for months. Wow! Then she got serious. She said, “I need to talk to you about something.”
“All right, Mom, what is it?”
“Do you remember when you were back here in October you said something to me. I was feeling down and you said you wanted to come back in April and throw me a big birthday party. I said no party. Do you remember that?”
“Of course, Mom.”
“Well, I want that party. Do you think you still want to do that?”
“Hell yes, Mom, I’ll be there. I’ll get the hall again and we’ll have some beer and I’ll play you some music.”
“Oh, thank you. I can’t believe I’m turning 99.”
“And I can’t believe I get to be with you on your first days of your 10th decade.”
So, I have my airplane tickets, I’ve ordered the cake. I still have to ask my buddy if I can borrow his portable piano and microphone. If any of you are in the area, you are invited. We had over one hundred on her 95th birthday so the more the merrier. April 27, Dorothy turns 99.