Thursday, June 5, 2008

An Untitled Day - Part II

Lunch is done.

I pull out the new walker Medicaid has gotten us.  None of us are strong enough to hold her up anymore. Especially when she does that I-gotta-sit-down-on-the-floor/sidewalk/doctor’s office/stairwell/lobby thing.

That walker is our safety net. It has a chair and it can hold her weight on its arms better than me or Penny or Gabriella.  Beats calling 911 or the Maintenance Guys to pick her up.

Florence does not see it that way.  She hates that walker like I hated the violin.  And she is seriously pissed off about having to use it.  So I sell it like the masterful liar I’ve become.  If she uses the walker, she’ll get strong again and can then tell me, Penny and Gabriella to go to hell and live by herself again and go to dances with lots of girls ready to foxtrot with her and run up and down Sixth Avenue eating whatever fast food she wants.

With that in mind she grabs the handles and starts shoving herself through space. I shout things at her like You're Doing Great and Let's Go You're Strong Go Florence.

She's as bad a driver as me and neither of us can get the walker through one doorway and into another without banging into walls, the desk, bookcases and every chair in the apartment.

At some point we all give up.  Florences settles into the big chair in front of the TV. I put on THE PARENT TRAP with Lindsey Lohan because I don't have anything left inside to watch SINGING IN THE RAIN for the thirtieth time I just don't. There's nothing left inside.

THE PARENT TRAP is a miserable movie for both of us. She can't follow it because there is no music to take her through a familiar story.  I wince at the bad writing and crude acting, but marvel at the young Lohan and answer Florence's repeated questions about the title the plot the actors the title the plot the actors the title the plot and soon it's over ...

...and I surrender and put on SINGING IN THE RAIN and Florence sings furiously along, each and every note and soon to hell with Gene Kelly wherever he is in the song.  She motions me to join in and I sing along with her "... in the rain, what a glorious feeling..."



Unknown said...


this is a beautiful blog. You are such a wonerful writer. The structure of which write allows me to visualize the scenerio...the situation.

With this said,

How is your mom?

It seems as though everyday is a battle for her.

From being able to fully function to the point where actions that were once easy to do, have become a daily challenge.

For this, I am greatly inspired and I commend her. You also are an inspiration. Im sure she is so greatful to have you there coaching her on.

Thats a beautiful thing.

You know, my grandmother does the same thing with singing. :)

When she sings, it is as if she is a child again...or has that spirit of a child.

I just LoVE to be around her while she is in a state of happiness. It helps me understand more of that positive energy from within her
and also how it puts focus of what counts the most...peace of mind.
I LoVE to see that within her.
She is a beautiful lady as well as your mom. :)

*I am sure your mother is in good hands when around you. Especially with the amazing energy that you have*

I hope you both are in peace.
You will both be in my thoughts. :)

*Can't wait to read more*

~Drewali L.~ (Drew)

c.o. moed said...

Drew, Only you could see beauty and sweetness in such frustrating circumstances. Truly, if I get another crack at another life I hope to be born with your heart and soul and perspective.

Florence is better and worse than before. Sometimes clearer, sharper, sometimes physically deteriorating into a worse state. Sometimes she surprises us all. Like Moses and the Hebrews it is an unknown journey toward some promise land of peace. Or at least a better sandwich.

Bucko said...

You Have to Get Your Strength Back and You're Doing Great and Let's Go You're Strong

These words parents use with children--I used them with students--and now you have to say these things. Do they become true because we say them? Do they cancel out, somehow, the other words that might make us drop to the floor like dear Florence?

I had to laugh at the walker saga, which I don't know is exactly appropriate. But I can't help thinking of those marks all over the walls. You got a gift of pricking out a laugh in the middle of feeling so much of the pain and confusion.

And I'd rather sing with Gene, too. Howabout a western? Just kidding.

Anonymous said...

Complicated as life as you know it has become, there is still beauty in her words and wisdom...
Did you really ever sing in the rain, you know, sing in the rain?
Can so picture the scenario and hear words said to your mom. I worked with Alzheimer patients for close to 17 years and although questions, comments and movie songs are repeated, let's not forget that they, too, listened to us repeat the same type of questions, songs and demands as young children. I forever watched ET with my children and The Wizard of Oz with my residents.
A devastating thing to watch as a child with their parent, I always said, but I enjoyed my patients' personalities to the fullest while they were in my care!
Take heart...there are many who wish they could still hold their mom or dad even at the utmost state of their confusion!
God Bless and keep a furniture marker handy!

c.o. moed said...

Thank you so much Kay8tee for visiting and for your warm words of encouragement. And actually once I did sing as I rode my bike in a thunderstorm. At the time I hope it would be the magic key to the magic I saw on the screen. In this case, all I got was wet.

Looking forward to your future visits and comments.

c.o. moed said...

Also check out the other Florence stories (would love your take since you have so many years working with this population) - they're the ER stories, MY MAMA DONE TOLD ME, TAXI RIDE TO THE DOCTOR.