Third wheel

I visited Mom on Saturday before lunch. I had a lot to do, getting ready for an overnight getaway with Patrick. We celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary a little early since we will be in Florida with his parents on the actual day (not that that in itself is not cause for celebration – we just spoiled ourselves with a couples massage and a night in a hotel away from the furkids). So I got there a little later than I intended, at 11:30. I briefly met the student researcher who talked to Mom about the memory posters with pictures of important people in her life. I couldn’t tell exactly how she did from what the student said, but I got the impression that Mom wasn’t terrific at recognizing the people in the pictures. I will find out more when the student reports her research in a presentation in May.

So I headed back to the program area to look for Mom. I didn’t see her in the main center area or on a couch in the pod closest to her room. To my right, I could see the legs of someone sleeping on a distant couch. Taking a closer look, I saw it was one of Mom’s rivals for Mr. R’s attention, sleeping alone on the couch. To my left, there was Bonnie, sitting on a couch with Mr. R, hugging and kissing. I walked over toward them and when she saw me, she stood up and gave me a big hug. We stopped embracing for a moment, and she hugged me again and said she was so glad to see me. In fact, she teared up a little. Which made me nearly start to cry. She said she was just full of emotion at the sight of me. It was unusual, and I worried that perhaps she needs to be put back on an antidepressant. I sat in the chair next to the couch, and she slid over to sit near me, leaving Mr. R on the other end of the couch. I didn’t think that was the best arrangement, so I directed her to slide to the middle and I sat on the other side of her, so we were all three on the couch, in a row.

Mom would occasionally turn to Mr. R and kiss him. I would see out of the corner of my eye that his hand was caressing her arm or her belly, and sometimes even her breast, though I don’t know if that was intentional or incidental. She had an arm around him the entire time. But sometimes she would put an arm around me, or put her hand on my leg. She admired my jeans. Within a fairly short time, she said she was happy again. The former weekend receptionist was playing piano for everyone, and Mom would sing along to some of the songs a little bit. Out of the blue, she sang the word “Yesterday,” as in the Beatles song. I asked the pianist if he had played that earlier, and he said yes. So again, a little tune had stayed in Mom’s head. When she and Mr. R kissed, I would sit there looking a little sheepish, not wanting them to stop, necessarily, but definitely feeling like a third wheel.

I am not sure what happens during mealtime between Mr. R, Mom and his other girlfriend(s). I have never seen Mom eat with him. So instead of getting in the middle of that, I told Mom I had to leave before it was actually time to eat lunch. I kissed her goodbye, and she put her arms around my neck and said, “Oh, I love you.” “I love you, too,” I replied. And she put her arms around Mr. R and said, “And I love him.” And I said, “I can tell.”

2 comments so far

  1. Sherri on

    I don’t think you sounded like a third wheel at all – in fact, I think your mom quite enjoyed having both of you there, giving her attention. Is it possible she’s experiencing some new emotions (or old ones -but now unfamiliar to her) – hence, the brief tears? Nice that she remembered some of the words to “Yesterday”.

  2. momsbrain on

    It is really hard to say, but the staff I talked to yesterday said the fewer meds she takes, the more the current “real” Mom is coming through. I saw her again yesterday and there were no tears, though she was groggy, waking up from a nap. I’m just glad her tendency is toward happiness and not something else…

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