Thursday, October 25, 2007

calling mom  

posted by Michael Piwonka 7:37 PM
My siblings and I make sure mom receives many phone calls in the nursing home. We've agreed to call mom on assigned days, at a minimum, to ensure that mom gets at least one call per day from one of her children.

My assigned day is Sunday. That day works well because it allows Allie and Mason to talk with their grandmother on the weekends they spend with me.

Even though mom's memory is fading, she always recognizes me when I call. I'm not sure if she remembers my voice, or recognizes my pet name for her, Liz. She is always excited to hear from me, just as she is with all her children.

However, the phone calls are becoming increasingly sad for me. If I ask mom what she's been up to recently, she either can't remember, or she consults her diary, where she jots down notes from every phone call she gets. Without her diary, it appears mom would have little to reminisce.

I find that I need to carry the conversation, which isn't a problem per se, but it's a constant reminder of mom's condition.

Whenever the kids are around when I call, I put them on the phone so they can say hello also. I've told the kids that her memory is failing, and that they may have to tell her things repeatedly. The kids understand, but I still notice the confused looks on their faces occasionally when the conversation doesn't quite make sense.

While these conversations are sometimes disheartening, they always contain at least one bright spot: mom is always thankful to receive the call, and is happy that someone thought of her.

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random. arbitrary. completely unnecessary. yet refreshingly therapeutic.

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