To welcome Nana, Charlotte made a giant sign, threw handmade confetti, and made personalized napkins (!).
Charlotte leads Nana through the Botanic Garden. I had to shoo them up to that path, both were tentative about leaving me on the lower road. (Azaleas were just past their peak and beginning to drop their petals. Roses were just starting to bloom.)
There are still moments where I’m not sure whether I’m seeing Alzheimer’s or just some weird thing Mom would do. This is one. No idea what’s happening here or why.
Sorry Facebook, your garbage engagement notifications make my mom feel like an idiot. Every chance I got, I cleared all notifications from Mom’s lock screen. The phone is deeply confounding to Mom and still incredibly important — it has pictures of everyone she knows on it. For that reason alone, it’s worth the trouble.
Mom has insisted on doing our dishes every time she’s come to visit in NYC. I expected that this was the visit where that habit disappeared, but no. It takes her about an hour and she doesn’t try to put the dishes away, but she does them and I was heartened to see that she still had that ability.
Mom can do dishes but she can no longer brush her hair without running into problems.
There were good days and bad days. We quickly understood this to be a sign of a Bad Day: Mom would wake early, make her bed, and then go back to sleep. In this behavior I saw an echo of her pre-Alzheimer’s life. At her most stressed, post-divorce and at the height of her career as an elementary school principal, she’d wake up at 3 in the morning. Unable to sleep, she’d work. Eventually, she would fall back to sleep for a bit before waking up for good and heading to school.
Charlotte hugging Nana goodbye while she does dishes, the night before our flight back to Iowa. C cried.
Flying Mom back home.