Moving Mom, Part 2

Well, it’s done.

The rehab facility released Mom this past Tuesday and I drove her straight to her new home. (Home? Prison? Warehouse?) I spent the day with her (10 hours) to ease the transition, to give her a familiar face to turn to when it all got confusing (as it did, as it must, repeatedly). She was a real trooper – nervous, scared, but polite and friendly to everyone she met. Finally, exhausted, she napped for an hour and then joined me again in her main room. Two minutes later, she had no memory of that nap, no recollection of this place, the why and wherefore of it. “Is this your home?” “No, Mom, it’s yours.” A blank look in response.

Her evening aide seems a nice woman. Dominican? Haitian? I forgot to ask. I wonder how well they get on, since the woman – Martha – has a strong accent and Mom was never really very good with those. Still, if Martha makes her a cup of tea at night, she’ll love her forever.

That was three days ago, on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Mom looked good. Easy. Relaxed. Talking animatedly with the women at her table. I took yesterday off and – imagine! – wrote for four hours. Submitted two essays to different markets. Felt normal for the first time in two years.

Today I got a call from the woman who runs the memory unit where Mom spends her days. “She’s spitting mad,” Dawn tells me. Angry at everyone. Thinks she’s in prison. Wants to go back to her room and be left alone. I suggested they let her do just that. She isn’t going to get in trouble over there, I don’t believe. I think she’ll sit and read, maybe sleep. Maybe she’ll cry. I don’t know. I did tell Dawn to let Mom know I’ll be there this afternoon. That had been my plan all along, but I’m not going to rush over there if there’s no need. I don’t want to set a precedent of showing up every time she has a melt-down.

But it’s hard. I don’t like to think of her in emotional pain, angry and (yes, probably) frightened, likely feeling abandoned by her family. I have broad shoulders. If she wants to rail at me, she can. I just need to remember who she is now and meet her where she stands.


About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
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2 Responses to Moving Mom, Part 2

  1. I think you are handling this new situation very well. It can’t be anywhere near easy for you or your Mom but hopefully there will some peaceful moments for both of you during this period of readjustment.

    • That’s my hope as well, Sue. Things will be even better once there’s an opening in the Memory Care Unit and she can move there full time. As it is, the back and forth each day, and being unable to go to bed until her aide arrives, is frustrating and confusing for her.

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