Monday, July 11, 2011


Ross and Mom had a wonderful day together. The night was restful and they were able to sleep in this morning! Mom had a great appetite today and a strong physical therapy session. She also was treated to a private chi gong lesson, which she loved. It made her feel so good.

She and Ross has such a nice day, Mom didn't get a nap in until he left. She needed to rest up before Book Club meets tonight and she gets back to the social events.

She is such a social person, she truly thrives on other people's energy. I sometimes get annoyed when visitors come and stay, chatting away through a meal or time when Mom is visibly fatigued. But Mom never does. She's always so happy when people come, and she figures she'll just sleep a little later. And I have to remind myself that Mom is still 100% in control of her care. She can articulate (and does!) when she needs to rest or needs to eat or needs something else. I think I project-often I'm the one who needs a snack or needs to rest or just needs some time to be quiet. Mom seems not to need this time. And when I think back on my life, she never really has. She's content relaxing with people. She never seems to need alone time, though she copes fine with it, too. She's equally happy soaking up sunshine on a dock by herself as she is surrounded by her girlfriends. Or even just her girlfriends' teenage children and their friends-she loves people. Loves talking to them, loves listening to them, loves learning.

When my parents visit me in New York, we travel by subway. Invariably, Mom makes friends. She'll jump into someone else's conversation easily and find a restaurant, an unknown museum or a long lost sorority sister. Dad and I just sit back, slightly nervous and slightly amazed. It would never occur to us to start a conversation with strangers on the subway. Our comfort zones are completely different shapes. But Mom's life of sociability has truly shaped the last six months. People are lining up to visit with her. She still has not been alone. I was speaking with a good friend of mine from childhood and musing about the support systems we have. She has a friend who, when her mother went through cancer treatment, was all alone in the hospital. No one else came. The burden was on the daughter alone, and it truly became a burden. I can't imagine going through such a time without support. We need other people to bring us meals, make us laugh, cry with us, advocate for us, help with travel, explain the bills. Mom has always understood this. It takes a community to be a community.

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