Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

With lilacs scenting the morning breeze I sipped the morning’s first cup of coffee and greeted the day.

J & T were in Boston preparing for their on-the-road  Mother’s Day living with teen autism.

I dialed Patti’s care facility. People are never carry-out. Calling ahead to any care facility is a courtesy, especially if I want to hope that they can find the time to get her up, changed, and dressed. Most often they can however sometimes the physical home caregiver skills come out of moth balls.

Once we resolved her first cigarette she was one Mother who was ready to roll.

Big family meals can be choking risks for Patti, all the conversation and distractions magnify MS related swallowing challenges and dysphagia. However a little cozy 'assisted' dinning aside with “moi” safely resolved eating and maximized socializing.

Family time with her parents, siblings, our daughter, and cousins was both enjoyable and exhausting for Patti. Drawing on more heart and effort than most mothers and daughters, sooner than later MS fatigue kicked in and all Patti wanted was to take a nap.

With the dinner hour looming, I worried that the clock might work against her. Fortunately short staffing in the assisted dinning room meant Patti would be fed in her room when she ‘wanted’. A good long nap and her dinner tray when she wanted was a Mother’s Day godsend.

As for me … well I went home and opened a special book. Once upon a time, my Mother gave me a book of poetry I never even opened for over 20 years, and years after she had died. To my wonder, throughout the book, I found handwritten notes from her in the margins of poems such as, “If I could have written something, it should have been this”:
When I hear you laugh, more softly now, I remember
The excitement and inflection of a happy child
To see you grown suddenly, unmistakably older, saddens me
But I know that somehow beyond all words, beyond
Time and pain and the mystery of death
We will walk again amid the flowers of spring
"Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother's love is not." James Joyce

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
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  1. What a great surprise for you Patrick! In a non-typical way, you got to spend Mother's Day with YOUR mom!! I thought a lot about my mom and Charlie, my son. Both passed, I spent the day alone, but not in spirit. I could hear my mom telling me about 'stuff'and I could hear Charlie calling "momma". These are things only alzheimers or death can take away!
    Luv ya!
    aka BamaWmn :)

  2. For many, the challenges of caring for a loved one are part of daily life. Caregiving is a demanding, difficult job and no one is equipped to do it alone. Getting help is essential for your health, and your resilience is critical for your loved one.


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