Drove myself over to visit G'ma today. The pod-castle is in the midst of a management shake-up and there were Care Plans to be approved and releases to be signed. My presence was requested.
Being nothing if not compliant in my rehabilitation, I was weeks overdue for this meeting. But G'ma's blood work (and hence, her medications) have been stable for months and she doesn't remember that I haven't been by to see her, so I couldn't really feel rushed.
And, honestly, it was hard for me to tell my story over and over again, especially on days (like today) when she manages to remember not only my piece but Christina's, too. She's not a hard-hearted woman, my mother, and she tears up just a little bit each time she repeats the story to me aloud.
That's what she does. She tells the story aloud, with a question mark at the end of her recitation, and looks outward for verification. The staff deals with her in the here and now; she's fine with those conversations. Seeing me triggers another part of her brain, I suppose, and suddenly she has access to some memories.
The things she remembers are emotionally laden. "Little Cuter and SIR aren't married yet, are they?" "You got shot... in the ass!" (cue rueful giggles and a sigh). And then, without fail, comes this: "There was a little girl with you, wasn't there? She died didn't she?"
Yes, she did.
Usually she forgets that she'd remembered and I'm able to distract her with other topics. This afternoon's meeting was more structured, there were questions to be answered, and G'ma had some time to look around. And she saw the walker. And she remembered.
I know it will be better when I am less encumbered. I just hate to make her sad.
The conversation around the table at lunch, for example, did not center on my injuries. With devices safely tucked away and out of sight, we were four grey haired ladies wondering why we were eating spaghetti for a mid-day meal, or as an entree, and where were the meatballs, anyway? They were all pretty excited about the vanilla ice cream with crumbled chocolate cookies and fudge sauce, and G'ma remembered exactly why I was willing to share my toppings with her.
She didn't have to say it aloud. She smiled her G'ma smile at me as I smiled back and shook my head in agreement. Nope, I don't like chocolate. Even the pediatrician's German pastry chef couldn't get me to like chocolate.
Some memories, on the other hand, make us smile.