• Women on the GrOw

Precious Moments with Mom

I just returned from an outing with my mom. At 82, with the slow but terrible effects of progressing dementia, and the restrictions of Covid 19, specifically with the elderly, these moments together have become more and more precious.

She typically doesn’t want to go out anywhere with anyone. Except for me. For some reason, I ground her. My dad is still living side by side with her but her personality flares and fluctuates with him. Not with me.

Our fun little excursions

Our outings are short-lived. We have somewhat normal conversations, laugh at silly stuff, peruse the mismatched clothing at the local thrift stores, try on a few crazy items and giggle, and take numerous walks in the park for an hour at a time. She seems to love every minute. Yes, precious.

Our conversation today ranged from a friend of hers who recently passed (at least I believe it to be true…not sure based on the lack of reality with her dementia), to what my plans were for the day (I think I had to tell her four times throughout our time together that I worked in the afternoon), to determining if she should buy the jacket she found at the thrift store that was gorgeous on her. She already had one just like it in a different color but this one was stunning.

Our shared frugality

We left the store without anything in our mitts. Of course, there were purchases we would’ve made but knowing that tomorrow was members discount day of 25% off, we thought we’d take our chances and return tomorrow hoping the items would still be there.

We’re frugal. Uh-huh, I learned it from mom.

Our Connection with one another

She won’t be going with me tomorrow. Why not? If I asked her to come along I guarantee she’d turn me down. Her comment would be that she was just there and to go ahead without her. Will she remember the jacket? My gut tells me she will. Why? She was with me.

It’s crazy but she can’t remember what she ate for breakfast. She can’t remember the 3 steps it takes to place a phone call on her mobile phone. She can’t remember if she talked to my brother today. But she seems to remember things with me.

I’ve come to realize how truly impactful our lives can be on one person, on three people, on many people. I’ve also come to realize that we have limited time to make a difference in those peoples’ lives. I want to use each precious, day to day moment and opportunity to brighten what could be a dark day for someone close to me.

Our memories

I’ll be curious when I call her tomorrow to “check in” if she will remember our excursion to the local thrift store. I’m also curious if she’ll remember the vest I tried on and loved. Or the “thumbs up” sign she gave me when I modeled it for her. I wonder if she’ll remember the comment she made on the matching scarf that I thought was so cool and told me it would “complete the look.”

I have a feeling she will. My heart is full.

My takeaway

As I ponder the next steps of her living situation realizing it’s only months before she will be needing assisted living, tears fill my eyes. Teardrops fall. Life and relationships are precious. People are precious. Let’s take our moments in this life and make them memorable.

P.S. I think I’ll buy her the jacket.