With a new day comes new perspective. Two sayings kept running through my head: “Tomorrow is a new day” and “When a horse bucks you off, you have to get right back on.” I had to go back and see my mom. She was in a strange place with different people and probably felt awful as well. And she is my mom. She would do it for me. I will do it for her.
I geared myself up and made the choice to be happy. I wanted to bring joy into her hazy and confused world. She would need to hear a cheerful voice and feel a loving touch, and I would be the person to provide both for her.
I arrived at the geriatric psych ward, and the nurses said she had not slept all night, but had napped that morning. She was sitting in the main room in a very fancy combo wheelchair/recliner. I walked up to her, squatted down, looked her right in the eye, and before I could say anything, her eyes brightened, a smile lit up her face, and she said, clear as day, “Well, hi Molly.”
She said my name.
Let me stop right here and tell you that my mother has not said my name, unprompted, in years. I am talking like five years or more. I was “hon” for awhile after she started forgetting names. That was on good days. Just as often, she had no word for who I am. Until you are in the situation where you can no longer hear a loved one's voice, hear them say your name, you won't understand. This was a big deal. My guardian angel was looking after me because this was just what I needed.
We had a wonderful visit. She was still in a haze, but I cared less about that and more about just being with her. We talked. I played her some music by Andre Bocelli, which she loves, and she always perks up when she hears it. She did her best to sing through her mental haze. We held hands. I told her about my kids and what they were up to. Sometimes we just sat. We sat and held hands.
My mother is back at her regular place, but she still isn't who she was before this story started. The last four months have been hard on her. Her health has declined. She no longer can walk on her own and is in a wheel chair. Someone has to feed her. She still talks, although most of it doesn't make sense to me. But Mom is happy. She smiles more. She still lights up when I walk in and she hears my voice. And she is as beautiful as ever.