I have been having a lovely visit with my Mom. She has in the last year become much more frail and this is sometimes difficult for me to observe and 'allow'. There is nothing that can be done to make her physically stronger. It has been many many years since she had any kind of physical exercise -- such as climbing stairs or walking down the street unaided. The reason for this is common to many people not only here in the U.S., but anywhere where the automobile has taken over our lives. Since I have been here most of my exercise has been walking to and from the car. While it would be 'possible' to walk the mile or two to the grocery store, it would mean walking along a very busy highway that has no footpath. No thank you!
There is the difficulty of dealing with Mom's faltering short-term memory. The office here telephoned this morning to remind her that she needed to sign her new lease. I thought she had taken care of that a few days after I arrived. In fact, she had signed the wrong document and when I got back to her apartment I quickly found what they were looking for and she has signed it. That was about 90 minutes ago. Since then she has said to me, "I've signed that lease, haven't I?"
Until now she has taken care of her day to day expenses as well as paying her rent and signing her lease. But I realize that my siblings are going to have to be apprised of the situation and one of them, probably my brother, is going to have to take charge of over-seeing more of her finances.
Then there is the problem of her ankles -- especially her right ankle. For years and years she wouldn't 'bother' the doctor with it and now it's a mess and every morning at 5.30 or 6.00 an aid comes in and puts these pressure stockings on her, which are removed in the evening. She is supposed to keep her feet elevated as much as possible -- which she does -- when I remind her! And there are other issues. I dare not take her anywhere in the car where I do not have a 'pit' stop within a reasonable distance.
The most important thing for me to keep in mind that I am here to be with her and cater to her. So if plans go awry because we need to get back home that's O.K. We have been able to get out and about and we have had some very nice weather as well. We take what we can get and if she gets upset because she thinks she's let me down, it is easy to reassure her that my visit is all about her. In fact I have been able to do almost everything I'd hoped despite delays of a day or two.
Despite all her confusions and physical limitations, I am so fortunate to have a mother who is never quarrelsome, loves people, and adores her children. She still remembers most things and is happy where she is living and still wants to be fashionable and remembers to wear her 'lippy'! And on top of all that, her politics are just as left wing as mine!!! ;-)