Archive for October 18th, 2011|Daily archive page

Bad news, good news

I am out of town at a conference and thankfully about to head home. I got a call from the Alz center just minutes ago. Mom’s roommate passed away Sunday night. It is hitting me harder than I would have expected – possibly from the fact I am very tired. But also I feel so much for her daughter, who has been by her mom’s side virtually every day but a few since November, when she first showed signs that she might be nearing the end of her life. She held on for a long time, and so did her daughter. And she was such a dear, with probing eyes and a clear awareness, even without much language, of what was said to her.

And then there is Mom. She is doing really well, the social worker told me. And I have felt that way, too. I stopped in to see her before I left town on Friday. Sometimes a visit feels like a “must-do” task. That day, while I was caught up in the anxiety of getting ready to leave town, visiting Mom cheered me up. Her brightness improved my day immensely. I didn’t stay long at all. She was with Mr. R on a couch, and they held hands the whole time I was there. Mom talked and talked, and I told her a few things. And I hugged her and told her I’d see her in a few days.

Mom will get a new roommate, and I suspect she won’t even notice. But the social worker has a backup planned in case it doesn’t go well. And I got another piece of good news. A housekeeper at the center told me weeks ago that she had noticed that she hadn’t seen the box in Mom’s room that contained the ashes of her beloved cat, Petunia. I should have never left them there, but they had been part of her belongings for so long I hadn’t thought about it. The housekeeper found the box of ashes in one of the roommate’s drawers. Mystery solved. I will bring them home tomorrow.

I trust Mom’s roommate is at peace now, and for that I am happy. I know her daughter will miss her so much, and will now face a major life adjustment. I’m hopeful I can provide her some comfort along the way.

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