Monday, February 27, 2012

They Live On: Four, Please

In the third part of They Live On, Patricia focuses on her mother's radiation treatment for her brain tumor. She chronicles the struggles of dealing with the medical staff and moving her father to be with them. The reunion between her parents tugs at your heartstrings. I desperately wanted my parents to get together one last time. When Dad was first in the hospital, I would go visit Mom and she would ask me where Dad was. If I showed her pictures from my garden (one of the few things that would distract her from a tantrum), she was adamant that I needed to also show my father. And when she caught me wearing his ring, she chastised me like I was a little girl.

But we elected to not tell Mom that Dad was in the hospital dying. Her world was already confused and befuddled. We didn't need to put her through that added trauma. She would get the facts confused and relive the news time and time again. When Dad finally passed away, the nursing home kindly removed all newspapers from the ward that weekend, so that she wouldn't accidentally come across the news. Unfortunately, a visitor did leave a paper behind and Mom caught it; but she didn't fully comprehend what she had read.

Another brief entry talks about hanging out with her mom one night, eating Wendy's and carrot cake. The next morning, her mother contracted pneumonia. At least they had that night. That was how I felt the weekend that my grandmother had died. I was already planning on going home that weekend. I had gotten tickets to the Michigan-Bowling Green football game that Saturday. I have been a big Michigan fan since I was a kid and I went to Bowling Green. I knew I wanted to take my mother with me, because it would be our last big outing together. Mom and I were famous for our outings; but they were becoming more difficult as she deteriorated. Grandma died the morning I was planning to leave. But we went to the game anyway.

I chronicled that outing for last year's A to Z challenge in my Alzheimer's blog. That day, despite all of her confusion about where we were and about Grandma's passing, was one of the most beautiful days ever. It was one of my last great memories with my Mommy and I will cherish it forever.

My other great night was on New Year's Eve that year. Dad decided we were going to have one last great night out together. We went for a special prime rib dinner at a local restaurant. To hell with the cost. Mom was convinced that we were going bowling with her cousin and needed help ordering food. But the three of us had a decent evening. I had fun playing with my new Droid. Dad laughed when we had this picture taken of us and I sent it out on Twitter and on Facebook. "Ooh! I tweeted!" "You what?"

We knew it was going to be our last New Year's together. We just didn't know that he was the one who was going to leave us first.

This book is also available from Yesterday's Muse.

No comments:

Post a Comment