Mama and I were visiting in her room yesterday when the sound of Christmas carols reached our ears, even over the high volume of her roommate's television. I stepped into the hall. It was coming from the dining room.
She wanted to go listen, so a couple of aides helped get her situated in the hoyer and into her chair. It's a lot more difficult than it sounds, requiring Mama to roll from side to side as they get the canvas sling beneath her. The large mechanical lift itself has to be retrieved from another hall.
Consequently, just as we reached the dining room, the performance ended.
I wheeled her back to her room. It was time for me to go, so I gathered up her laundry basket, gave her a kiss, and headed down the hallway. But on a whim I made a detour into the dining room. Sure enough, a few carolers lingered.
Five minutes later, the carolers crowded into Mama's small room and gave her a short, private performance. She beamed and sang along.
It was much easier to tell her goodbye after that.
My tree still stands naked ... boxes of decorations are gathering dust in the middle of my livingroom ... I have yet to order my Christmas cards, much less address and mail them ... I've done no shopping, and have barely thought about what we'll have for Christmas dinner.
But when holiday stress over these yet-to-do's starts building, I'm going to remind myself of those few moments with Mama and of those carolers who agreed on a private encore just to make her happy. Those are the memories that make Christmas special.
Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. ~Peg Bracken
Mama has only been back in her room a couple of days. She made another trip to the emergency room on Tuesday. Not a fall, but just as scary: She choked on a tater tot. Her nurse said they couldn't get her breathing under control, and she even turned blue on them a couple of times.
However, by the time I caught up to Mama in the ER, she was breathing without wheezing and her color was great, thanks to numerous nebulizer treatments and a steroid IV. In fact, she was her twinkly, flirty self.
Even though her chest X-ray looked fine, they decided to keep her overnight for observation, in case she aspirated some of the tot. It would irritate and inflame the lungs, causing a type of pneumonia.
Thank goodness the follow-up X-ray the next day looked okay, and she passed a swallow test, but it was already so late in the day by the time they finished, they felt they should watch her another night just to make sure.
Everyone made a big fuss over her when she arrived back at the nursing home the next day. I didn't even nag her about eating lunch in bed.
It was a huge relief that she suffered no ill-effects from the incident, of course, but the surprise blessing is she gets a brand-new session of physical and occupational therapy, thanks to the stint in the hospital.
I'll keep trying to stop by there or call her early each day to nag... um, encourage her to get out of bed when physical therapy comes calling. It will be a Christmas miracle if she's strong enough to leave the home and celebrate at our house, but then, I believe in miracles.
Despite the unexpected visit to the hospital, there were plenty of sweet!s this past week....
Monday: being able to slow down enough to let a roadrunner cross the highway in front of you safely; your mom moving herself through the halls to see the Christmas tree in the foyer of her nursing home; being able to spend lots of time with her; an orange egg-shaped moon playing peek-a-boo on the hilly horizon with you
Tuesday: calls on your listings; finally having a closing date for one of your new home buyers; caregivers who act fast getting her to the emergency room when your mom chokes on her food
Wednesday: a glorious sunrise; meeting your new neighbor; the doctor determining your mother did NOT aspirate any tater tot; your mom released from the hospital; your daughter making the four dozen cookies you need for a cookie exchange because you're too busy with your mom; cookie exchanges
Thursday: morning sounds... your feet shuffling through dried leaves, the distant crow of a rooster, and the chirps of birds just waking up; a glimpse of the moon peeking through morning clouds
Friday: hitching a ride on a golf cart from the parking lot when you're wearing heels; dancing at Christmas parties with friends; photo booths; a shooting star flashing right in front of you; enjoying a meteor shower with your daughter
No silly ones - I had a tough enough time trying to figure out where to look!
Saturday: meeting a new client while trying out a new coffee bistro; stopping by their home for a visit with your son, daughter-in-law, and grandpuppy; the sight of Santa riding down South Congress on a horse; catching up with old friends at a Christmas party
Sunday: enjoying Christmas music with your mom; carolers who will give your mom a private performance; the rain waiting until you're in the grocery store to start, and then stopping before you come back out; a son who will cook dinner; a call from a dear friend
I hope you have a blessed week full of love and miracles, no matter what holiday you're celebrating this season. Be sure to share your sweet! moments from the past week in the comments! I'm sure you can think of something!
When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?