Thursday, September 8, 2016

Now she's 97

..and she only passed out once.
I was so disappointed when I got up this morning and found the sunflowers I bought last night looking like this.
I don't know what the secret is to keeping them upright, but obviously these were not going to make it to Atria for my mother's birthday celebration.  Big waste of $10.

I had bought a small cake and the flowers yesterday and we were going to join Ned and have a small private party.  Of course she did not remember it was her birthday and had to be reminded many times throughout our time together.  I pointed out that she had received a card from a friend of hers and she seemed confused about why that person would be sending her a card.  She picked up the card and read it several times, each time surprised that it was her birthday--nobody ever told her that.

There is a plus side to dementia, though.  Ned brought her a nice bouquet, which she loved.  She loves flowers.  And it came with a little happy birthday balloon.  Ned cut the balloon down so that it went into the vase with the flowers and they were put on a credenza.  Throughout the time we were there, she discovered them many times, each time surprised to see them, each time asking where they had come from and each time delighted when Ned said he had brought them.  Ned got a lot of love and thanks for his flowers!

I had gone to Fairfield after work yesterday and bought her a box of candy from See's, which she loves.  See's were always parts of our celebrations throughout my life and since there really isn't anything else you can get her these days.  She doesn't like new clothes, she can't read books, and so the best thing to get her is a box of candy.  I'm not sure she remembered how much a part of our family these candies have been for the past 75 years, but she enjoyed the candy and passed them around for everyone to share.

I had made a reservation for the four of us at the dining room.  I don't know if they saved a table for us or not, but we found a table for four and sat down.  

We were lucky that the entree of the day was could have been one of the awful dishes that I've had lately, but the steak was pretty good.

When the waitress came to take our orders, I suggested to my mother that she get a glass of wine, which always puts her in good "spirits."  They did get wine.  And she was in good spirits.

Lunch went well and then we returned to the apartment for cake.  Her back was bothering her and she flopped down on the couch, leaned over to the right, and passed out.  She was out for about 10 seconds and then came back, again with that startled look, trying to figure out where she was and who we were.  But Ned talked her back into life again, and then he went to get the birthday cake.
She was surprised.  She had no idea it was her birthday.

These "spells" of hers seem to exhaust her and after we had cake, I could see she was fading fast, so we packed up and let her go to sleep.

In the afternoon, I had a call from her best friend from San Rafael.  She said she called her and was talking to her when she got disconnected.  When she called back, there was no answer.  This is not the first call like this I've received.  I've finally decided that when a phone call comes and she doesn't know who it is (though everyone is very good about identifying themselves), she hangs up and doesn't answer when they call back again.  I don't know that this is happening, but it seems highly likely.

So her birthday is now over.  The birthday celebration probably meant more to me than to her, but you just never know when it's going to be her last one.

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