Today is Husband's birthday. Yesterday we visited his 98 year old mom. Mom is in bed in a deep sleep like state when we first arrive. She is fully dressed and covered with a spread. Husband goes to the nurse's station and asks if they plan to take his mom to lunch. While the aides always attempt to wake her, Mom does not always wake up enough to go to meals. Yes, the young aide would get her up and bring her to the lunch room. The aide suggests we wait in the dining room while she prepares Husband's mom.
About 25 minutes later a bleary eyed Mom shuffles into the dining room. The walker is no longer enough support. The aide is nearby to stabilize if needs arise. Mom is directed away from her usual table to her chair at the table where they sat us. Mom no longer wears glasses because hers are broken. New glasses cannot be made as Mom is unable to communicate which vision is better. Her optometrist died suddenly so his records of the last prescription are lost. When she finally gets close enough to recognize our faces, she reaches for our hands. Kissing our hands she collapses in tears as the aide helps lower her into the chair.
A second aide comes around to check on Mom after the activity of walking to the dining room. It is obvious Mom is in physical pain. This aide walks away while saying over her shoulder she would get the nurse to bring some pain medicines. The nurse arrives in a timely manner with the meds. Nurse inquires to Mom as to who this is visiting today. Mom, as so many times before, identifies Husband as "my baby boy". When the nurse states, "So he is the youngest!" Mom Adcock corrects her with a frown and a negative nod. Mom almost immediately falls back into a sleep like mode while sitting at the lunch table waiting to be served.
Mom has never been a person to talk much. Neither were Husband, his dad nor his brother. So sitting in silence at the dining table is really not a new situation for us. It is painful to watch Husband attempt to engage Mom in conversation. Mom's mind does not process much these days. He asks the month. She shakes her head. He tells her it is September. He asks what month is to follow. She responds, "October". "When is your birthday", he asks. Her response is dead on correct. Inquiring about her age on the next birthday gets an answer that is only off by a year. Then he looks in his Mom's eyes and tells her tomorrow is his birthday. A slight smile crosses her face as she leans over and quietly wishes him, her baby boy, a happy birthday.
Some days little gestures make the best gifts.