Got a late afternoon call from Mom today. She sounded anxious and she sure wanted me to do 'something', but there was nothing I could do in Houston that would make things better for her in Seattle. She sounded so troubled that I called the caregivers on my cell while we spoke and asked that she be taken out to the 'big room' for a cup of afternoon tea, a ritual that she likes. Dad got on the phone and I know he wished I was there with them until that magic hour when they sit at the supper table and the late afternoon restlessness that hovers over Mom dissipates.
When I was in Seattle, Dad asked that I plan my visits for the later afternoon hours. Said he helped him get through them. Took mom's mind off whatever marches through it. Just for a while. Those are not pleasant hours. She is up from her chair. She is settled back into it. She is up again, waiting to get this 'show on the road.'
Mom can't finish a sentence these days - or she'll fumble with the words and end her sentence with a standard colloquialism. A phrase that seems to fit. Some afternoons, I'd sit on her bed and take down every word she said on my laptop, not only for something to do, but to try and make sense of her mind meanderings. There are indeed threads that run through what sounds so random and disconnected.
So Dad is left with Mom every afternoon, watching her like a hawk and bored to death at the same time. Why is this going on and on and on?
My sister writes of her last visit there on her blog Ahead of the Wave. It's not easy to visit these days. We are all just waiting.