Archive for September 17th, 2010|Daily archive page

In my dreams

In a recent dream, Mom and I were shopping. I don’t know where, or what we bought, but I do recall that Mom was her normal self. It was sort of mundane, in fact, this shopping scene in my dream. It is typical of most dreams – I don’t recall many details at all. But when I woke up, I did remember that Mom had been just plain old Mom in the dream. And it made me kind of sad. I don’t always know that I am missing her. That dream made me miss her.

I also have anxiety dreams on a regular basis. The same thing, over and over. I am in graduate school at Ohio University, pursuing an advance degree in journalism. I am living in subpar housing, renting with a bunch of strangers while living in Athens, away from my husband in Columbus. And I start out each quarter strong, completing all of my assignments. But when finals roll around, or final papers are due, I fail to complete any of them. I don’t show up to class anymore. I avoid checking my transcripts so I never have to look at all of the terrible grades I’m accumulating. I wake up believing this is true sometimes, that I am a complete failure in journalism school at OU. And the thing is, I already have an advanced degree in journalism from OU. And I was a good student. It is a weird recurring anxiety dream, and I am tired of it.

I visited Mom today, once again letting almost two weeks pass between visits. I walked into the program area, and Mom was lying on a couch, awake, with Mr. R sitting in a chair next to the couch. I walked toward at her, staring at her until we made eye contact. She looked at me, but for awhile no sign of recognition showed on her face. As I got close, and I said, “Hi, Mom,” she sat up and said, “Oh, hello.” She seemed pleased, but not exactly excited, like the last time. I pulled a chair up next to her. She had one sock on, so I went to her room to try to find another. I found a bunch of single socks in her drawer. I picked one, a completely different color, and put it on her naked foot. A male resident walked by, and Mom turned her head to look at him. This caused Mr. R to start saying things to Mom that had that tone I had heard before – he was being critical, and was suddenly angry, apparently because of the attention he gave to this other man. Mom would respond to what he said, but she was positively unaffected by the tone of his voice.

A group of older people in patriotic costumes came in to perform for the residents, and I urged Mom to come watch them. She stood up, and I asked Mr. R if he wanted to come, too. He stood up, and he and Mom joined hands, and we walked to the circle. I pulled up chairs so they could sit next to each other, and I sat behind Mom. Mr. R would sing along with some of the recorded songs – “You’re a grand old flag,” things like that. He reached over and took Mom’s hand. I had been upset by the way he had been talking to her just minutes before, but I stayed out of it, because I knew it would pass. I had no idea it would pass so quickly. About six songs into the performance, I told Mom I had to go back to work, kissed her goodbye, and left. I noticed she and Mr. R got up, too, and returned to their couch, away from the crowd gathered to watch the dancers. As Mom headed that way, she waved goodbye to me.

She looked good today. Fairly clean hair, and such a peaceful expression on her face. Breezy in white pants and a yellow fleece shirt. Seeing her like that reminded me of my shopping dream. I have to admit I’m so glad she still looks good – that she looks pretty “normal.” I noticed today that the male resident who was once described as the “new hottie” has changed so much in his short time at the Alz center. Maybe because he is young, the disease is progressing rapidly. He keeps his head hung very low at all times, with his chin resting on his chest. I think it must be so uncomfortable. His hair has thinned, and his body has changed. He has lost weight, but his belly protrudes. His face has thinned, but his cheeks are puffy. I felt sad today, seeing him. And remembering my dream. How nice it would be to go shopping with the regular old Bonnie this weekend. I have a big coupon for Kohl’s. She liked that store.

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