Sunday, August 27, 2017

Her Afternoon Nap

This afternoon a good friend drove me to the nursing home to visit my mother. I felt reluctant to accept the ride because I did not know how long I would be able to visit my mother. Sometimes my mother is wide awake and spirited; other times she would nap soundly in her chair. However, as I am temporarily disabled and dependent upon the goodwill of others, I accepted the offer.

My mother was so tired she was actually put to bed. The nurses said she was awake early and had a lot of energy, but that sometimes sleep overtakes her. The recent times I visited, she had been sleeping soundly. I caressed her hands and her legs and ran my fingers through her hair because she likes it. She was neatly covered with a blanket and I asked, "Are you warm?" She replied, "Yes." So I placed a few more blankets on her and asked, "Does this make you feel better?" "Yeeeeeeeesssssssssss!"

I talked for a few minutes and gave her some updates on news, and she just nodded. I read a little to her and asked if she liked it, and she said, "Yes." So, I asked a few more questions: Are your spirits good? Yes. Do you feel well? Yes. Did you enjoy lunch? Yes. Would you like me to stop asking you questions? Yes. Would you like me to leave so you can sleep? Yes. Would you like me to go now? Yes.

I talked with the nurses, a few patients and their caregivers, the kitchen staff, and my niece, and then began the trek home. I still considered it a good visit.

Earlier in the day, I once again relied upon the kindness of others to collect me from BC High to bring me to Topsfield to say mass. I feel inhibited with my driving restrictions, but it is nice to rely upon the goodwill of others, especially when you know it is an inconvenience. Likewise, I had goodwill from other parishioners to bring me home at the end of mass.

I felt energized to say mass. It takes a while for me to get prepared for the day, so I knew my energy would be directed towards getting prepared for the day. I reviewed in my mind all the events of  public mass that I would have to do just to make certain my body would cooperate. I neglected to remember one part: the genuflection.

I said to the congregation: I may not be able to do this, and they shouted out: Don't, but I genuflected and found that it felt really good. So, I did it two more times during the course of the mass. It felt good to be engaged in public worship.

I suspect I will see my mother later in the week once I get clearance. My bandage comes off tomorrow, and I'm ready to free the wound from its protective cloth. I'm on my way to better health.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Brief Visit

A friend from Jordan came to Boston to visit her son on his birthday, and she accompanied me on a visit to my mother. When I arrived at the nursing home, my mother was sleeping soundly in her wheelchair. She was zonked and it was 2:00 in the afternoon. The nurses said she slept soundly in her bed the night before, but after lunch many of the residents nap before the afternoon activities begin. She was out.

I held her hand and they were frozen. I asked my mother if she wanted a blanket and she said she was very cold. I brought two over to her - one to cover her chest and hands, the other to cover her legs. She was grateful, but she did not lift her head because she was exhausted. She was warming up.

I sang parts of songs to her and she completed them. I mentioned some of her favorite foods and she finished my sentences. I mentioned names of family members and she said something about each one of them. We talked about movies and she said, "O, yes, I like that one." I mentioned songs and she said, "I like so many." She never lifted her head.

My friend talked to her and she spoke back, but she was too tired to raise her head. I did not intend to see her before my surgical procedure on Friday, but I wanted to visit with her before my procedure. She usually rises about 2 p.m. In my haste, I forgot to bring communion to her, but it was providential because my mother was too exhausted for a visit. However, she was warm because of the blankets, she was coherent, and she was tired. Poor thing.

I was off to visit St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer where I would say a prayer for her in the Abbey Church. It was a lovely visit.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Four Weeks Later

I visited my mother last night after not seeing her for four and a half weeks. She seemed fine. Her memory did not seem to slip, which was encouraging. Losing the sense of time is a bit confusing for her though.

My mother talked about being imprisoned because she was saying things like, "I tried to reach you, but they would not let you see me. They didn't even tell you I was looking for you." I figured that was how she was processing my absences, but she also said she hadn't seen the rest of her family for the longest time. I kept telling her, "You've been released. You are free now. I'm sorry that happened, but let's enjoy that you are now free." She seemed comforted.

We shared a cup of ice cream and then the staff was preparing for dinner. It came time for communion and she asked if she was permitted to receive because she hadn't fasted all day. I said, "You are fine."

So, she received quietly. Then she burst into laughter. She said, "I remember the first time I received Jesus. I embarrassed my friends because I did not know how the host would taste and I started choking because it stuck to my tongue." She kept laughing and I thought it would be a good way to leave for the day.