Mom has steadily declined over the last two years as strokes and dementia have ravaged her mind. It’s been a miserable journey. My sister is fortunate to have the ability to care for her full time. I have envied her. I know that it is a tremendous amount of work, but what a blessing to be the one to give so much love and care to an aging and declining parent!
Being 600 miles and a state away, I am left with occasional visits and one-sided phone conversations. She used to say a few words or even offer up a giggle when you spoke to her over the phone. Not any more. Sometimes I get nothing at all and then all of a sudden I’ll get a hello or an ok. Lately, I’ve been fortunate to get a sweet kiss over the phone. These are moments I’ve been cherishing. I miss her voice, though. I miss her witty sense of humor. I am sad that my three younger children will not know their grandmother.
Recently, my sister announced that mom is really needing some new “life” in her days. We’ve decided to make wonderful use of the children’s reading abilities. We call her at bedtime (or sometimes early in the day) and the kids take turns reading a bedtime story to grandma. It has been such a blessing! My sister said that it is evident that grandma is listening as she watches the phone and actually reacts during story time. The kids are having a great time too. They feel so important and like they are doing something to provide care to grandma.
I really wish we would have thought of this sooner. I’m thinking of all of the empty nights that could have been filled with a child’s voice reading a story to grandma. I’ve been reminded though that all is well… this new activity has come about at just the right time.
We love you grandma (mom)… goodnight.