My sense is that we are weeks away from the end. According to the staff at the nursing home, Mom refuses all food and almost all drink. She is further way mentally than she’s ever been. She laughs unexpectedly, at things I cannot see or hear. Yesterday, she kept saying, “Come here, baby, come here, baby.” I finally asked who she was talking to. “Isn’t there a dog here?” she said. “Yes,” I said. “There’s a dog.” “Well, then.”
She drank two-thirds of a glass of cold water while I was there, but complained that “everything tastes salty.” (I tried the water; it wasn’t.) She is beginning to have trouble swallow, a sure sign that the Alzheimer’s is gaining ground.
As I was leaving, I bent down to kiss her. “I love you, Mom,” I said.
“I love you, too, honey.”
“Love you billions and billions and billions.”
“Oh, don’t do that,” she says. “You’ll hurt yourself.”
Hard not to both laugh and cry over that one.