Caregiving Story

My Mom, My Mom

Location:Glenview, IL
Cared for by:Mary Sacoff
Years of Care:10


My Mom knows two words. No and yum.

No, is a step down from a curb or stairs.

Yum is an occasion for rejoicing. In other words, ice cream or french fries. Those are indulgences she remembers as "moments on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.” And for someone who battled weight all her life, something forbidden.

Today, it was fifty degrees outside, with a hint of spring in the air. I drove her past our old home although she didn’t recognize it. I took her into the hometown library where once she checked out every Jane Austen novel for me and insisted I would I read it and love every sentence. My Mom was so right about nearly everything well, except her prediction that I wouldn’t be taller than 5’4”. I sat her in a wing chair by the fireplace while I browsed the stacks. She was nearly beside herself when I returned.

To atone for my disappearing act, I took her for a late lunch -- a very tardy four o'clock snack.

“French fries, extra crispy. Wait, make that two orders.”

We have a special today, Italian beef platter and you get fries with that for the same price as an order of fries.

"Just the fries, please."

I sprinkled salt liberally over her mound of fries, blood pressure be damned, warning her to be careful because they very were hot. I left to fetch the ketchup.

When I returned she exclaimed, “Yum.” She finished the entire plate although her care managers tell me she has no appetite.

“Would you like ice cream,” I asked. She shrugged her shoulders.

I ordered her a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone and a red raspberry sorbet for me. She set it down on the table after two or three small bites.

I maneuvered her back into the car after negotiating a “no” curb and drove her back to Sunrise. I punched the code, held the door open for her and led her back into familiar territory, chatting all the while to fill the silence. “We’ll have to fess up. We had ice cream and French fries and you won't want dinner.”

She smiled, “It was very good.”

Actually, it was a sentence.

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