I didn't become Catholic because they consider it okay to dance and drink, but I have to admit, those are great fringe benefits!
Every year I look forward to our parish "adult" Christmas party, where there's always great food, great dance music, a huge dance floor, and a mostly older crowd who make me feel young and old at the same time. There are some 80+-year-olds who can out-dance me!
Tonight I expected to go, eat, and leave, because I had so much work to do. I didn't even bring my big-girl camera. But I met new people at my table, saw some old friends, and this great band was playing...
The next thing I knew, I was one of the last ones there, as always.
There were four of us women still on the dance floor when the band said good night. We convinced them to play an encore. They acquiesced, choosing "Don't Stop Believing", the perfect lead-in for the post I'd already written for today...
It's been almost a year since my mom made the move from Houston to Austin. Things haven't gone quite as well as I hoped ... she's had two trips to the emergency room and is much weaker now than when we made that 4 hour road trip last year.
But she is still my mom. I can talk to her about everything that's going on in my life, just as I always could. I am blessed that way. She's still a great support and sounding board. And I think it helps her to know I still need her that way.
But in the same breath, she'll refer to my dad as if he's alive. We're on a totally different playing field, and it's taken some getting used to. She knows he's passed on, but there are times she just refuses to accept it.
In her previous life, my mom was a CPS - a Certified Professional Secretary. It was a big deal. You had to pass a test. She worked all while I was growing up, and then beginning in 1975, she also took care of my quadriplegic brother in the evening when she got home from work.
Her nature has always been that of a nightowl who loved staying up late and sleeping half the day, unless she had to get up for work or some other good reason.
It's unfortunate that nursing homes don't operate on that time schedule. Physical therapy comes by in the morning. She refuses them. By the time she's awake enough to participate, they're gone for the day.
Consequently, she's gotten weaker and weaker. This week, they categorized her as a hoyer-lift patient because they say it took four people to weigh her. A hoyer-lift patient is pretty much a jellyfish, not having to use any muscles to get in and out of bed, or even to the bathroom.
However, when they said they had to move her to another hall because she was now a hoyer patient, I reminded them that she did fine with two people assisting her until one aide ignored the "Two Person" assistance notice and tried to move her on her own. Consequently, Mama landed on her knees. The very next day, it took four people to weigh her.
So, they gave me a week. If she shows improvement and cooperates, she won't have to move.
I am now officially her coach.
Yesterday morning I arrived at 11:30 and she was still in bed. I pushed the button to call the aides to get her out of bed and when they asked her if she would eat lunch in the dining room, I answered for her: Yes.
She eats really, really slow. We were the last ones in the dining room. Her nurse had her nebulizer treatment already set up, so I got her started on that, then went to find a portable oxygen tank. When she finished her treatment, I hooked her up to the portable tank so she could take a "stroll" down the hall, using her hands and feet to propel herself, rather than someone pushing her.
I want her to build her strength. I don't want her to be a jellyfish on the other hall, and she doesn't want to be, either. I told her she had to want that in an active way, not just a theoretical way.
That's true for all of us, isn't it? If we want something, we have to take the action that will get us there, not just wish for it to magically happen.
I was there four hours yesterday, and two today, but most days I can only be with her an hour. So please, please, please keep my mom in your prayers, as well as her aides and nurses. They have a tough job. I'm depending on them to keep her moving and gaining strength.
Don't stop believing... (and please keep her in your prayers!)
Being there for my mom and dancing tonight are definitely both sweet!s of this week.
Here are a few more...
Tuesday: property tours that include lots of lake views; singing Christmas carols with your mom; investor clients; online classes you can attend at your convenience
Wednesday: your son's 29th birthday; remembering the day you became a mom; spending time with your own mom
Thursday: the silence of a foggy morning; showing properties; bathroom inspiration; discovering new restaurants with your daughter; remembering your sister's wedding 10 years ago; hanging out with twenty-somethings
Friday: showing more properties; seeing results from nagging your mom; reaching the halfway mark in your new class; watching a full moon climb up through the tree branches
Saturday: the company of house-dogs; working out six days in a row; getting to spend four hours with your mom; sunsets in the hill country; quick catch-ups with friends; new clients
Sunday: walking through a carpet of autumn leaves; enjoying beautiful Christmas and gospel music with your mom; an evening spent visiting with friends, making new ones, and dancing
I hope you had a week full of sweet! moments, and the next is overflowing. Share them here!
And remember, don't stop believing!
When the world says, "Give up,"
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."