Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Blog 41: Will You Sing Happy Birthday To Me?

It was my birthday on Saturday and when I awoke, the first thing I wanted to do was call my mom.  Big surprise, huh?  I noticed I had missed phone calls and text messages from family and friends, which all put a smile on my face, but I needed to start my day off with my mom's voice.  I remembered last year on my birthday, when I called my mom, and she immediately started yelling at me about taking her money.  I told her I didn't take her money and I started to cry.  I was so emotional that day because of everything our family has been dealing with because of her illness.  I am her first born, and I consider it a special day for her too, for both of us.  She started crying and said she was so sorry and that she knows I didn't take her money.  She kept saying, "Don't cry, Lizzie, don't cry."  I couldn't stop and I told Mom I was sorry.  I felt so horrible for making her cry.  I told her I just miss her so much.  She said she misses me too.  It was like the tears I shed brought her back to herself again as a loving, nurturing mom.  That phone conversation ended well, but the fear of her yelling at me on this birthday almost made me not want to call.  But, I needed to.  I needed affirmation that she was having a good day, so I could have a good day.

When I first called, one of the staff, Debbie, gave Mom the phone and just walked away. Mom didn't say anything.   I waited for her to answer but she didn't.  I called back.  I told the front desk lady to please tell Debbie that she needs to make sure my mom takes the phone and engages before she leaves her.  I had to tell the front desk lady because when Debbie answers, she immediately hands over the phone before I get a chance to say anything to her.  I could feel emotions welling up.  I wanted so badly to talk to my mom.  Anyway, the second time around Mom stayed on the phone.  Thanks Debbie.  I told her it's my birthday and of course I knew she wouldn't remember that.  I asked her if she would sing Happy Birthday to me.  She said she will later.  I said, "Will you sing it with me now, Mom?  Please?"  Then I started singing and she sang with me.  She sang the whole song and I was so happy to hear her do that because I am well aware that this may be the last birthday she will be able to.

We started talking about other things.  Actually, I let my mom talk if she has things to say.  Usually she talks about someone from the past, that is no longer here.  She says she just saw so and so, or she talks about certain things they do.  Her brother is gone, but she said she saw him the other day.  She said my sister smokes, but she hasn't in years.  My mom asked me if I was married to Josh.  I said no, we aren't married.  She seemed surprised and said, "You're not?"  I don't have the heart to tell her we don't see each other anymore.  She asks about him once in awhile, says she wants to dance with him again.  He was good to her.  I told mom I will be there in a couple of days with my daughter and granddaughter.  She asked if Josh was coming and I said I don't know.  Of course he isn't, but I didn't want to tell her that.  Mom seems so excited to see her great granddaughter.  That makes me smile.  She asked me what day we'll be there.  I said on Wednesday, and she said what day is it today?  See, she's slick! She may get the days all mixed up and not have any concept of time, but right at that second she does.  She can still tell the time on the clock, too.  I usually just tell Mom I'll be there soon because if I tell her in a week, two weeks, or a month, she says that's too long.  Soon is the best word to use.

I asked Mom what she wants me to bring her for a present and she seemed confused by that.  For a split second I was thinking maybe she was wondering why I asked her what she wanted when it's my birthday, because then she said, "What do you want?"  She said, "I can make you a wedding dress if you want me to!"  She's still thinking about Josh...great.  I said that would be very nice, and I remarked on the beautiful dresses she made.  She said she doesn't have her sewing machine though.  It made me feel good to think that my mom wants to do something special for me.  She's still in there, and she comes out every now and then.  I'm glad we had a good conversation that day on my birthday.  It was so wonderful to start my day off like that.

The conversation ended when I lost Mom to the music when she turned her dancing dolls on.  I knew she'd be gone then and wouldn't come back to the phone.  This happens a lot now.  I waited for awhile and called out to her a few times, then reluctantly hung up the phone, as she disappeared to the tune of Ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, baran...

1 comment:

  1. That is so sweet... She wanted to sew you a dress. I love her so much. How can we reverse time?