Saturday, August 16, 2014

August 15th conversation with Mom

When mom first answered the phone this afternoon she was rattled. I asked her if something was wrong and she responded, "Yes, I am having trouble and I can't get a hold of Dennis. I may need to go to the emergency room, ...", and then went on with some very rough language. I was stunned to hear her in such a rage and talking like that, so I will give the gist of that part of our conversation.I asked her twice what was wrong. She was mad because she has a sore throat and was feeling kind of warm, but couldn't get a hold of Dennis. Said stuff I won't mention. She resolved to lay on the couch with her dog and someone at her complex would help her if she asked.

She thanked me for calling her and she thinks it is helping her to recall memories. She asked, "Now who is this?" "Who am I talking to?" Who are you?" Over and over during our conversation. Also kept asking me if Liz called me, over and over. She wrote down my phone number (again) and told me to call Liz.

Repeated story about Dick's grandson and Mercy Flight, church next door, food program, park across the street.

On and off, she thought I was her sister. At some point in our conversation she calmed down about not being able to get in touch with Dennis and reversed some of the nasty things she said.

I reminded her about our her remembering her trip with dad to New Hampshire ~ 50 years ago to attend a Ralston Purina Convention. I told her I talked to Len who said they stayed at Wentworth-by-the-Sea. She agreed that was the name, it was so beautiful and Purina rented the whole resort. I told her it is now a Marriott Spa and I talked to the concierge who told me there is a wonderful history book written about the place. I asked mom if she is still able to read much and she said yes -- so I told her I would get the book and have it sent to her.

Then mom told me to write to her, even just a note so she could remember who she is talking to. She also keeps telling me she doesn't recognize my voice. Told her I am getting old, too.

I explained that I sent her a letter on Wednesday and she should get it in the next couple of days. She asked if I sent it to Portville Manor or to Westons. Told her to Portville Manor. She was excited about it, but afterwards, kept asking me to write to her, over and over.

Told her it was Len's birthday and that he was going to Las Vegas for his birthday. Her response was, "Now where does he live?" California. "Oh that's right. Isn't that where he went to school? He should call me. Tell him to call me." OK.

We go back to the therapy part of my call. I asked her what thoughts she had when she was growing up -- about what she wanted to be or do, what she wanted her life to be like. I could tell she'd been thinking and remembering things she wanted to talk about. She said, "Well that's hard. We didn't have anything."

Then she told me a story I'd never heard before. She said, "When we were little my mother would read to my sister and me. Parents don't read to their kids anymore." She lost me for a moment -- I wasn't sure what she was saying. Then she giggled and said, "We'd always ask when are you gonna get a baby? We didn't know anything, we thought she was suppose to have a baby, someone younger than us."

Next memory -- she started talking about Grandpa Pire and how he liked to drink -- but was a good father. Then she was telling me about a time when she was 12 or 13. I think both of her parents went to a big firemen's demonstration, parade, maybe convention with some other people. It was in the Lake region (Finger Lakes region?). She said it was night and all of a sudden they saw flashing red lights reflecting off the abutment down the street. It was the ambulance, bringing her mom home. It turned out she was in a car crammed with people and she was sitting on someone's lap. They drove through a stop sign and were hit by another car. Grandma was thrown out of the car and had injured her spine. Back then she wouldn't have gone to the hospital. They brought her in the house on a board and she had to lay flat for five or six weeks. The girls had to move her around with a sheet -- somehow. Mom's sister Lillian was by then off working in someone's home where she was given room and board. They got in touch with her and asked her to come and take care of their mom, because she and Aunt B were still in school and couldn't do it by themselves. She said it was a sad, scary, hard time for her.

Not a big story, but I never knew about this and for some reason, she wanted to share it with me.

Then she said she was feeling a little better and would lay down on the couch -- that her dog gives her little kisses, that dogs are smart, they know when you are not feeling good. She said she would gargle with aspirin. I told her to drink lots of liquids. She said she doesn't have whisky, but she has her favorite -- Pepsi. I asked her if she had tea and she said yes -- she could make cold tea.

She said she needs to eats bananas for potassium. I suggested potatoes and she said, "Really potatoes have potassium, well I just learned something new." She said she likes potatoes and I reminded about how I used to say "noot, noot, noot" when I was a child and wanted more potatoes.

Back to the whiskey -- she said she never drank it, but was around other people who did. I reminded her about Grandma Whitney and how she would always be having a heart attack when someone was arguing and the doctor said to give her a shot of whiskey. I screwed that up, but you guys know the story. Then we talked about the first and last time she drank whiskey -- one Christmas Eve she and dad were at a party before church. The host (Scottie) made a weak drink for mom and a double for dad. But she got his drink, by mistake. She was very drunk by the time they got to church. She sat next to the mayor. When it was time to leave her heel got caught in the steps and she fell down. She says her dress ended up over her head and her butt was sticking up in the air. "It was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me," she said. "I was hollering my heel is stuck and they just stood there looking at my butt."

Last of note -- on handwriting. I told her I typed the letter I sent because I am so used to typing and my handwriting is so bad anymore.She said hers is bad too -- I said she always had nice handwriting. She recalled learning the Palmer method in school -- having to make all of those circles and stay between the lines.

She asked one more time for my name. I told her Antsy Nancy and she laughed. I told her about Harry Rasey and when he was little how he called me Antsy because he couldn't pronounce Nancy.

Am calling her on Sunday. Hope she gets my letter tomorrow.

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