Visiting with my mom is always an adventure. I never know what she’s going to say or do and it’s fascinating to watch and participate in her crazy shenanigans. My goal was to keep her laughing. As long as she was doing that, then I figured we were okay. Or maybe that just made it easier for me.
My sister and I needed mom to try on a “picture outfit” for family photos we had done. When we removed her clothing we noticed she had a wash cloth stuck down her bra and in her pocket. We said “someone’s been folding towels today” and then proceeded to laugh hysterically. Mom will stuff any and everything in her pockets to the point of them looking like chipmunk cheeks. But a wash cloth in the bra was a first.
Okay, I’ll just say it. Mom acts like a young adolescent and she’s in a, shall we say, sexual stage right now. I don’t know how many times she lifted her shirt to show us her bra. She was either pulling on her shirt pretending she had large pointy breasts or she was lifting her shirt and flashing us. This activity was always followed with laughter that reminded me of a young girl at a slumber party. Once, when we were in the car, she found a compact umbrella and well, with the size and shape of it, and with her young mind in the gutter . . . one thing led to another and let’s just say I never imagined my mom ever doing that with an umbrella! And she laughed and laughed like a school girl with a mischievous look in her eyes. Okay, it was a little funny — but mostly we were just shocked. This was so out of character for mom.
I can’t count how many times we hugged. I’m talking about the best hugs. Mom could charge money for those hugs. Warm, embracing, long, loving, everything is going to be okay hugs. (sigh)
She called me by name a couple of times, but there were a few times that I was standing right next to her and she said to me, “I think that’s Joanne over there!” I’d say, yes that kind of looks like Joanne, but I don’t think it’s her. It felt wrong to say “I’m right here” — I didn’t want her to feel bad. Every single day, Mom asked when I was going to cut my hair. And every day my answer was the same — tomorrow.
We bought her new bedding, hung some more pictures and made sure her name was in all her clothing. We danced, laughed and sang songs. We took a hundred new photos and looked at old black and whites together.
Mom mentioned a couple of times that she’s ready to go home. One time she asked where her mom was. I wondered when that was coming, but it still surprised me. I told her, “she’ll be here soon.” I’m pretty sure the home she’s talking about isn’t the one she’s lived in for the last 45 years, but rather her childhood home in Wadena, MN.
Little 14 year old Ruthie Hall wants to go home. Oh how I’d like to make her wish come true.