Soda Cracker Polident

Yesterday we went to see Used to Be Mother after our plane landed. We've been in Australia since March 12th.

Though it was only 3:30 p.m. she was already in her pi's, in bed and without her teeth. She remembered us and wondered how where we had parked our car. She wanted to know when I was taking her home and if I had won anything. I had no idea what she meant but told her I had not.

I checked in her bathroom and was surprised to see that her polident tablets were missing. I looked inside her tooth cup and found a soda cracker floating on the surface. I thought that she may have tried eating one that stuck to her teeth.

Today when I picked her up to bring her to my house for a bath and an early morning doctor's appointment, she was again without her teeth which were in her cup without water. She had a package of soda crackers on the counter.

UTBM: I use them to clean my teeth. They do a really good job.

She had packed all her pictures into a tote and told me that she wanted me to have them.

Her apartment looked stark. I wonder if it is just too difficult to look at these pictures that are just strangers to her now?

When I stopped at the pharmacy near her former residence to pick up more Polident, she didn't recognize it. While I went in, she listened to a music tape she likes. I found her waving her hands like a beauty queen on a float.

UTBM: Oh they sing so good. It was the first time I saw her smile in a long time.

She didn't remember which house was mine. She didn't remember Fernando. She did remember Bob.

UTBM: Oh you have a nice husband Bonnie. He keeps himself so nice.

I gave her a shower, washed her hair.

UTBM: See these two titties? I have to move them out of the way when I wash my tummy. We have to move them out of the way to make sure the skin underneath is dry too.

I blew her hair dry, lathered her with lotions, put in her drops.

UTBM: one, two, three, four....eighteen.

With each number she blinks.

UTBM as I settle her into bed: Oh this is so nice. I like it here so much.

I can hear her chest rattling. She attempts a feeble cough but it's unproductive. She sounds like she is struggling for air. I can see the blood pooling in her toes that make them look bruised.

I put on Mother Angelica's youtube broadcast for her to listen.

She doesn't remember Mother Angelica. The list of things she doesn't remember is longer now. She doesn't talk about money, her sisters. Yesterday she talked about her husband as "my boyfriend".

I kiss her goodnight and give her a hug. Tucking her in up to her nose. She smiles at me and says "See you in the morning".

I am grateful to have these times with her. I know one day soon that morning will not come.


Louise Plummer said...

These are the best stories. "See these titties . . ." She's a work of art.

janet said...

Oh Bonnie. What tenderness and gentle attention you give to your mother. I know she must appreciate you. It can't be an easy thing to do and to watch. You are a wonderful mentor.