I'm sitting in a motel room right now, getting ready to start the long drive home.
I made the 500 mile drive to see my mother, who's in a nursing home. She gets up and around fine, though she moves more slowly than she used to. Her continued mental decline is obvious. She got confused about who I am, and asked, "Are we related somehow?"
The Alzheimer's/Dementia has stolen what was once a sharp brain. Every week, I call her, but she can never remember where I live, what I do, or how far I am. She doesn't have any clue where she is.
It's so sad to see. She had her own house, with a large walk-in closet overflowing with clothes -- she enjoyed shopping, my mother. I had more clothes when she was around, because I'd end up buying something when I'd take her to the mall. I never go there now.
She's in what could be a hospital double-room, with a roommate. It's been made to be as pleasant as possible. She has virtually no personal belongings, and all her clothes fit into a little 30-inch wide closet.
She used to cut and perm her hair herself. She took a lot of pride in her appearance, and was always nicely dressed and groomed, even if she was home alone.
Now, her hair is longer than she would ever have let it get, unkempt, unpermed, and it could have used a washing.
The nursing home staff seems pretty decent, though. The place is clean, neat and smell-free. As a Eucharistic lay minister/visitor, I've been in some that are dogs.
Speaking of dogs, Betsy came with me. She enjoyed getting to go with me, and she kept me company on the drive. I'm staying in a pet-accessible motel.
Betsy got a lot of attention at the nursing home. The residents and and even staff enjoyed petting her. I used to take Betsy to one of the local nursing homes that had a pet-therapy program, but we haven't done that in a long time.
Mom fed Betsy part of lunch, and the rest of it stayed on the tray, uneaten. I brought Mom a tin of butter cookies, which she loves, along with some other gifts. She had eaten a few of those, before lunch. She still has little appetite.
Mom wanted me to spend the night there, in her "spare" bed (her roommate's).
May God have mercy on us all.