Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday breakfast

I took Mom to Burien today to have breakfast at the new Grand Central Bakery. She was desperate to get out of her apartment so I thought up this little outing for us. We shared a wonderful piece of blueberry peach coffee cake. She had biscuits, sausage and a sunny side up egg. I had an egg on toast. Both of us had coffee. Mom seemed to really enjoy sitting and watching people in the restaurant. She never really wants to do more than watch.

I mentioned the idea of living in an assisted living facility again. Again she resisted....saying that her money would run out too fast. I tried to convince her that it probably would be ok, and that she would have people around to eat with, or just be nearby. She is always so sad and lonely these days. She cries every time I leave. It is heartbreaking. I wish she would not resist the idea of another kind of living.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Morning, Mom

Every morning I call Mom. She used to get up super early and call me at 6:00am. I finally had to put a stop to that. Now I usually call her around 8:30am. She often gets up at 6:00am, eats some breakfast and then falls back to sleep in her chair. More and more, she complains that she is tired all the time. I think this is a combination of boredom, depression and a failing heart.

The call is the same every morning. I call, it rings about 20 times, she finally picks up and tells me that she has been asleep in her chair. I ask if she has had breakfast. She reels off a list of all she has eaten...usually cereal, some fruit, toast with jam and of course, the ubiquitous cup of coffee. She asks me what I am going to be doing that day, and when I am going to see her again. I ask her to make a grocery list and she always forgets. Actually, I suspect that her writing and reasoning skills are getting a little shaky. I end the conversation by telling her I will call her in the early evening around 4:30pm.

She lives for these calls. The calls help her know day from night and give her an opportunity to ask me what day it is. She has a wall calendar where I have taught her to mark off each day as a means of staying in contact with the passage of time. More and more, she just says that she forgets things.

It was hard to see her on Monday night. I made us dinner, which she didn't particularly care for at all. It was filet of sole, butter beans and spinach in a sauce. I try new things because she says she gets bored with the frozen dinners. I am finding that her range of taste preferences is getting smaller and smaller.

When I left she followed me to the door asking when she would see me again and weeping. I have to say that when she starts this behavior I put up an emotional wall right away. I feel manipulated by her tears and neediness. As I walked down the hallway to the elevator I am torn between anger and sorrow.

My life is being lived on the edges of one spectrum: with Mom at 90 and with Pamela my partner and our new daughter Haven as she turns three months old today. I often feel like my emotional arms are being pulled in both directions. I have to focus on time for myself so that I can be at my best for the two families in my life. For the joyful side visit my other blog at