"Hi mom, this is Nancy, your daughter." That's my usual salutation, meant to help mom remember who's on the phone. I explained that I was calling on Friday, a day earlier than we'd agreed to because I wanted to make sure she was feeling OK. Her voice has been hoarse for the past week or so.
One day she was in a tizzy because she had a sore throat and couldn't get in touch with Dennis to take her to the doctor. The next day she said it was better. But to me, her voice sounds a little worse every time we talk, so I wondered if she should have her throat checked by her doctor. She thinks it is just allergies from pollen and because she's alone and doesn't have anyone to talk to, except her dog. "I just wasn't using my voice." she told me. "My head's been draining and running into my throat. I don't like to go the doctor and have them give me more medicines." In the end, she said, people are worse off from taking all kinds of different medicines. And, besides, she feels fine.
Back to my phone greeting. "Oh I am so glad you called. What day did you say it is? Did you say Friday? Is it Friday?" (Yes, yes and yes.) "Thank you for letting me know that today is Friday. Tonight we go out for fish fry and I don't want to miss out on that. I was going to go downstairs and ask someone what day this is and I hate doing that. It's always embarrassing having to ask other people what day it is. They look at me like I am crazy or something. Thank you, now I don't have to ask anybody."
She asked me several more times if it was Friday. She asked a couple of times who I was and then finally said, " This is Nancy, right?"
I'd tried to call her on Thursday, but never got an answer when I called in the morning, mid-afternoon and around 8 p.m. She says she was walking her dog or maybe sitting outside watching traffic. She says she doesn't do much else. Her daily dog walking schedule starts around 7 am, then another outing between 11 and noon, a walk and outside sitting around 3 or 4, then the last walk during the evening before bedtime.
We talked about the historical significance of the farm property. Long before the house was built, it was occupied by a lumber mill, owned by the Weston family. Mom wasn't remembering much about this, just agreeing with what I was saying. I told her the town Weston Mills was named after the mill which eventually burned down. It was rumored that Johnny Appleseed planted the small apple orchard. Mom couldn't remember the original owners of the farmhouse. They were the family that built it. My grandparents bought the farm and my father was born in that house.
Mom started talking about roller skating and when she met dad. She misses him, so much.
Her dog started barking, the doorbell was ringing and I suggested Meals on Wheels was bringing her lunch. She was hungry today, so I told her I would call over the weekend. OK, she said. "Call me back soon. Today is Friday, isn't it? I love you, dear." "Love you too, mom."