Update on Mom: Not Great, Not Horrible Either

I hoped the familiar surroundings of Mom’s room at her nursing home might jog her memory about when and where she is, but that has not proven to be the case.

Her personality has returned, but it somehow left behind many of her memories.

When I visited briefly yesterday, she was very annoyed not only by the fact that my brother hadn’t visited (due to being hospitalized and then quarantined for COVID — a fact she can’t seem to digest enough to remember), but also because “your father” couldn’t be bothered to come see her.

She was, of course referring to my dad, who died twenty years ago in December and whom she left in the late 1970s for the man who eventually became my stepdad.

When I reminded her of the above facts, she said somewhat plaintively that she’d like to see Dad again.

So would I, Mom, so would I.

Still it’s weird to hear this from her because the breakup of my mom and dad’s marriage changed all our lives forever. At the time, I blamed him, believing some of his actions caused the divorce, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to see Mom certainly bears a great deal of the responsibility.

For me, it’s like, “Now you feel this way? After completely changing everything for all of us, now you look back and wish you could see my dad again?”

It’s just seems odd that she’s dwelling on this.

Physically, she seemed to possibly, maybe be making some (excruciatingly slow) progress, but today she was, ahem, indisposed due to the effects of the antibiotic on her stomach and didn’t get out of bed.

And yes, she remains ticked off at Dad for not visiting.

However, she always seems glad to see me. For this reason, I am visiting every day, at least for now, despite –or possibly because — nothing much seems to be happening.

The possibility of this kind of outcome of her fall hadn’t occurrred to me. I imagined she’d either move forward with PT — maybe not to her previous level but close — or this would be the health crisis that her aged body could not overcome.

It sounds heartless, but when your parent reaches such an advanced age, you can’t ignore what will certainly be the outcome one day (and likely sooner rather than later).

Instead, we are in this sort of twilight zone, unsure how things will go.

And yet, personality-wise, she’s her old self. Except for some frustration with Dad (and with me and her brain when I explain why he’s not coming), she seems pretty happy. Also, she’s not in pain (at least she says she’s not).

So, even though her body and mind seem to be letting her down, her spirit remains indomitable.

I take heart in that.

8 thoughts on “Update on Mom: Not Great, Not Horrible Either

    • He was, although neither of them were actually at their best during my high school years before they got divorced.
      It’s just strange that she keeps talking about him. Yes, they were married 28 years, but they’d been divorced 22 years by the time he died nearly 20 years ago. And she’s referred a few times to “her anniversary” (of their marriage), even before this issue with her memory. My reply has always been “Once you’re divorced from someone, it’s not your anniversary anymore.” Still, this whole thing, along with having watched Dad fade with Alzheimer’s, makes me reflect on the power of the mind to create its own reality. Then I remember I don’t have time to dwell on such deep philosophical thoughts, and I turn my attention to more tangible things. 😉


  1. I remember this phase vividly with Pa. At some point, he just ticked over, back into an earlier life. He knew us, and wanted to see us, but couldn’t quite work out how we fit into the world he now inhabited, where his long-dead sister was alive (and was somehow also me), where he still lived in Spain (but somehow also in England with my even-longer dead mother), where my brother was not yet married, but somehow also the father of 4 adult daughters. Well, we gave up explaining, and just told him about our lives, our day, what we were up to. Simple conversation sustained his attention without truly drawing him in, and it was enough… He was happier in those last 6 months than he’d been for *years* before that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kate, it’s exactly like that. And as long as Mom seems happy and out of pain, it’s okay. Today she didn’t mention my dad at all, but that may be because she was in the middle of being dressed after a shower. She did ask for her hearing aids, which surprised me since she hasn’t mentioned them at all since she fell. Who knows how it will go? Certainly not me. 🙂

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  2. Sometimes anesthetic messes with the mind. I hope you can continue to take comfort in her continued presence despite all; maybe things will improve or maybe not, but you are doing your best to be there for her. ((((hugs))))

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s definitely at least partly because of the pain meds and anesthesia, but today is two weeks since her surgery, and she hasn’t been on anything stronger than Tylenol since two weeks ago Saturday. It’s definitely possible it’s still working its way out of her, and she had a UTI, which can also cause confusion. Anyway, she seems pretty happy so that’s the most important thing.


  3. That reminds me of grandma several years ago. Her spirit never wavered and in fact she seemed to only become more spirited, especially after some mini strokes, but eventually she couldn’t keep facts straights. It was indeed a strange twilight zone. Take care of yourself too, while you try to take care of her.


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