WOW. What a day. Mom was so energetic, strong, hungry and focused today, it was great. I spent last night with her and we had such a great night: we fell asleep around 10pm and woke up at 3:15, and then again at 7am. I'm kind of ashamed to admit it, but I slept more the past few nights being in Seattle than I've slept in a very long time. This wasn't supposed to be a vacation, but I definitely got a lot of rest. And, full embarrassing disclosure: Mom was actually awake before I was. At 7:15, she very softly whispered my name to see if I was awake, which I was, and then asked me to make a list of the things she'd been thinking of.
I am blessed to be the genetic recipient of many of my parents' gifts, but with those come the not so pleasant things, too and one of them is night anxiety. Mom deals with the racing thoughts by getting out of bed and writing all her thoughts down so she can go back to sleep. (I just lie awake, worrying). But now that she can't do that, when she's not super exhausted, her thoughts sometimes don't have an outlet. So today we made a list: 1) yard work needs to be done, no weed killer and please have the edges trimmed (I have no idea what that means) 2) she wants to get a regular exercise routine, which includes morning yoga and afternoon strength work (which we implemented today) 3) what should she give Dad as an anniversary present?
Clearly, not life or death stuff, but the stuff that's important and sometimes keeps us awake at night. We set to work outlining a morning exercise plan and did lots of stretches: hamstring lengthening, hip opening, lots of neck and shoulder stretches, torso twists and some heart opening poses. Then she wanted to get out of bed to stretch her calves. So we got the walker and she stood by the side of the bed, stretching her legs. Then she wanted to practice going from sitting to standing, which she did 10 times. Then she wanted to see if she could stand unassisted, which she did for 20 seconds! I haven't seen her that strong or energized in a long time, it was amazing. Then it was time for breakfast. She sat on the edge of the bed and fed herself an entire serving of cheerios and half a banana and drank an entire cup of tea with whole milk. About an hour later she was still hungry and ate some of Dad's leftover chicken chow mein (an entire cup full, not just a couple of bites) and a glass of orange juice. An hour after that she split a carrots, beets, kale, chard, parsley and spinach juice with me. YUM. In between all of the exercise and food, we had a wonderful conversation. It was just so nice and fun and like how we used to talk.
And then I flew home. I was concerned that maybe she had burnt herself out all morning and would be a little sick and tired in the afternoon. Not so. She walked all the way down the hall and outside into the courtyard and had physical therapy. She continued to "eat like a pig" as she told me (HOORAY!) and sounded still super alert and strong when I talked to her 9 hours after I left.
She's expecting a visit from some old (in length, not age) friends tomorrow and is very excited about that; I think the anticipation of seeing dear ones always brings out more strength. I am just marveling at her day today and hoping for many more like it.
But even if there aren't any more like that, spending this time with her, just the two of us, was really magical.