Daughter's Eulogy

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Top On My List

Today was an exceptional day.  Initially when I got to The Community*, I could not find my mom.  One person told me that she was sitting by the nurses’ station; another person told me she went for a walk; I walked around and around the second floor twice and mom was nowhere to be found.  Then one aide said let me check the washroom near the nurses’ station.  Sure enough mom was there.  

When mom came out, I mentioned that today was her Healthcare Meeting with some of the staff at The Community*.  We meet every three months to discuss mom’s progress.  Mom is always invited to join me, but many times in the past she will tell me to go by myself because she is not in the mood.   Guess what?  Today I convinced her to go.  

Mom said, “Julienne, do you really think I should go?” 

“Yes, Mom, I do.  They would love to see you attend that meeting with me.” 

“Are they going to ask me a lot of questions?  You know I don’t like to answer a lot of questions.” 

“Mom, just answer the questions you want to and I’ll answer the rest.  We’ll be a good team.” 

“OK, I’ll try.” 

I asked mom’s nurse to switch her to her wheelchair instead of her walker so going to the meeting would be a little easier for mom.  As we were leaving the second floor, mom’s good friend, Evelyn said, “Gilda, come and sit by me.” 

“I can’t.  I am going to a meeting with my daughter.  When I come back up, I’ll sit with you.” 

I was so glad that mom has made a good friend with this lady as she is one of the healthier people up there. 

During the meeting, the staff, our hospice nurse, mom and I agreed that mom’s move to the second floor was the best thing we could have done for her.  Mom told everyone that she knows she is getting better, but she is not where she wants to be yet.  Everyone smiled.  Mom was having a great day today. 

When we left the meeting, Mom said, “Julienne, how did I do?  Did I answer all the questions correctly?”

“Mom, you answered the questions perfectly.” 

Before getting back on the elevator to go back to her room, I suggested visiting Mom Lentz in her room.  Mom said, “I don’t think I am doing well enough today.”  

I let her know that Mom Lentz is being released this Thursday.  I emphasized how happy and surprised Mom Lentz would be if we just showed up in her room now.

“Ok, Julienne, but only for a minute.” 

“Mom, you let me know when you’re ready and we are so out of there.” 

As we headed towards the nursing station on the first floor, everyone including nurses, aides, and residents were excited to see Mom down there again.  This was her first visit back here since we moved her to the second floor.  She felt great. 

When we went in Mom Lentz’s room, they were both happy to see each other.  Mom Lentz suggested going for a walk as she has for the last two days been walking without a walker.  We all went out and sat in the garden for about five minutes when mom said, “OK, Julienne, I had enough.” 

“Perfect, mom, it is time to go.”  

However as we walked back in, we saw several people with sherbet ice cream cones. 

“Mom, should we all get an ice cream cone before I bring you back upstairs?” 

“I haven’t eaten ice cream in a long time.”  For some reason mom had convinced herself that she is allergic to ice cream which had no merit, but as usual I just agree with her. 

“Mom, they’re eating sherbet ice cream.  I don’t think that will bother you.” 

“OK, let’s try, Julienne.” 

We all went to their ice cream parlor.  Mom Lentz didn’t want any because she likes to have ice cream after dinner. Mom Mascitti and I both chose the sherbet.   

After we finished our cones, I suggested going to see the receptionist, Susie*, to see if she would take a picture of the three of us.  Both Moms are so used to me taking pictures of them that they both just agreed. 

Just as were taking our photo, a handsome man walked in.  I asked him if he would like to join our photo.  He did as you can see!

We all talked for a few minutes and I took Mom Mascitti back up to her second floor.  She wanted to go back to see if Evelyn was sitting there waiting for her; she was.  Mom started telling Evelyn all about her day. 
Mom was very happy.  When Mom is happy, I am happy.  Today was the happiest I have seen mom in a very long time. 

I went downstairs to say goodbye to Mom and Dad Lentz.  I found them in the garden room playing a card game called Progressive.  They convinced me to sit and play with them.  Today’s card game in The Community* will be our last one before Mom Lentz comes out on Thursday. 

The Community* has done a wonderful job with both Mom Lentz and Mom Mascitti.  Every night before I go to sleep, I think about all the things I am grateful for and The Community* is always on my list.

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