We moved my mom into an Assisted Living Home on May 18th, 2012 without planning for it and with only two days notice. We barely had time to move her in and make her room feel like home before I flew out the next day. It sort of felt like I dropped my mom off at a daycare and then never picked her up. Even though I knew it was the right thing to do, it just felt wrong. One of the biggest events in my mom’s life was rushed, because I was rushed.
It’s been two months since mom’s been in her new home and I hear she’s doing great. But, I’m thrilled to be going back this week so I can see for myself. I also feel like this is a chance to take things slow and do some of the things I wanted to do in May.
Some things I’m looking forward to are:
- Going for walks in the new neighborhood mom lives in.
- Dining with mom and her new friends.
- Washing dishes with mom.
- Decorating her bedroom with old family photos and girlie stuff.
- Maybe getting new bedding for her twin bed.
- Taking mom to the beauty salon for a haircut.
- Just being with my mom, and being fully present, with nothing but time on my hands.
My sister from Texas will also be there, and so with the Nelson family of five all together, we have a photo session scheduled at Lake Nokomis. We haven’t had a professional family photo taken in about 35 years, so this will be it — most likely the last shot of all of us together. You know the family pictures people take when someone has terminal cancer? That’s what this feels like. Except mom won’t look sick, she just won’t know what’s going on as she smiles innocently at the camera. I’ve given the photographer a heads up telling him, “my mom will think you’re an old friend, and she’ll be so happy to see you that she’ll probably hug you.” The photographer said that’s okay, his grandfather had Alzheimer’s and he’s very familiar with “going with the flow.” This disease touches us all.
This will be my first visit to see my parents in years when I haven’t had a major to-do list. I am so looking forward to just chilling and spending quality time with my family. Plus I have a date with Lake Harriet I need to attend to, (see Bucket List). There’s nothing like Minneapolis in July!