Friday, March 2, 2012
Mom will be 90 in a week. I can’t believe she has lived almost 90 years. We celebrated her birthday a week early with a small party at the nursing home. My sisters and brother came, and we invited several people from church and hospice. When her minister asked her how old she was, she told him that she was 25. “I like that age,” she told him.
She was amazing. For the first time in months she talked and laughed. I’m not sure she knew what was going on, but she was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. She ate cake, more cake, cookies, fruit and whatever she could reach on the table. She told my sister to quit stuffing her face and get her some punch. I thought I would fall out of my chair. Mom was so feisty.
It’s funny, she would tell people, “Oh, I haven’t seen you in so long. Where are you living now? “ Of course, everyone who attended has lived in our town forever, but who knows where Mom was in her brain. Her conversations were somewhat appropriate, better than they’ve been in months.
The nursing home staff and several hospice workers also stopped by for cake and punch. The activities director brought his guitar and we all sang “happy birthday” and several other happy songs.
As we sat with Mom after the party, my brother would tell her that he was Jay. She told him, “Well, you do resemble him.” He pointed to my sister and told Mom “That’s Ruth.” Mom responded, “No.” And that was that. Then he pointed to my little sister and said “That’s Janis Carol.” Mom said, “Maybe, but I would call her Jan. Then he pointed to me and said “That’s Ellen.” No comment from Mom. She thought a minute and asked, “Where’s Elizabeth?” That’s my first name. Again he pointed to me and said, “That’s Elizabeth Ellen.” She studied me and said, “No.”
We all laughed and she did too. It doesn’t matter if she knows exactly who we are. I just hope she knows that we are people who love her.