Since I am the only sibling which lives in drop by distance, I have been chosen to deliver mother's medication to her each morning on my way to work. It's not that my sister and brother don't help out, they do, when possible. They just live hours away and naturally, I seem to be the "chosen one."
My day usually begins around 6:00 am with a shower, facebooking for five minutes, feeding the pets, grabbing mothers medication in a baggy and I'm off.
A few days ago, my youngest daughter decided she wanted to learn how to cook, she began with some simple things which entailed using a toaster oven. We forgot to tell her that this certain oven got very hot on the inside as well as the outside and to take everything which sat on top, off. Well, my mother's plastic baggies which I carry her pills in every morning just happened to be sitting on top in their prospective box. Later I found that the baggies within had all melted together and if you were lucky you just might find a good one in the bunch which hadn't been completely melted. Well, this morning I checked for holes and didn't find any so I dumped mother's meds in and off I went.
As I arrived at her mailbox, I grabbed her bulletin and continued up the drive. While pulling up to the house, I noticed her sitting on the front porch, which is a usual event. Everyone comments on her nice tan and asked if we've taken her to the beach because she's so brown. We reply that her beach is her front porch sitting from daylight to dark with the sun shining in. I actually asked her doctor once if he knew why mother had brown rings just up above her ankles, he replied to me that sometimes in the elderly who have vericose veins, their legs become oxygen deprived and creates these rings. Well mother does have some bad veins but I was a little curious of this answer. I happened to be sitting on the porch with her one day and noticed that her pants were pulled up just so and the sun shown right on that spot, thus creating this curious brown ring.
Continuing on with my story, mother rose from her chair and I rolled down the window and called to her to come in and unlock the garage door to let me in. She did as I asked and I met her at the garage door. I grabbed my plastic baggy with the meds inside, and began hearing pings and pangs of pills falling all in the car and on the cement. Unknowingly I had grabbed a baggy with a hole, spilling all of mothers daily pills. She loudly exclaimed..."I want to know why in the world I'm at this house and whose is it?" Well, this is a usual question for her, not daily but sometimes 2 to 3 times a week this routine plays out. I quickly said to her, "mother, I don't have time to to this right now!" She demanded that I stop searching for pills and turn around and give her an explanation as to whose house this is and why have we brought her there!" I ordered her to go into the house and for some reason she did as I asked. I could hear her rambling as I came in with only 3 or 4 pills salvaged.
Mother takes 5 pills in the morning and two are place in a small plastic cup with a napkin on top which reads "take at 5:00 pm." As she continued on with her ranting I interrupted her and asked if the church people had come down last night for a prayer meeting and visit. Our pastor had called me the day before and asked if it would be alright to come. I knew that mother would pitch one more fit about them coming and I would end up buying cakes and preparing coffee and such if I told her prior to them coming, so I decided not to say a word and let them show up on her doorstep. Mother quickly said, "If they came I sure wasn't here!" I assured her that they were supposed to have been here. I found out later that they had indeed came and mother was well smitten with the new church van and had joined in singing hymns from memory and the like, having a big time, only to have not remembered a single iota of the evening. Alas, this had gotten her off of "whose house is this" subject so I chose to endure this rant instead. After listening to her questions over and over about the church people who she says didn't come for awhile, I changed the subject again to it being Thursday and today was her hair appointment at 12:30 pm. Mother has a hair appointment each Thursday with the time varying at times depending on what she will have done.
I work as an administrative assistant, which is a fancy word for a "secretary" at a Baptist Association, part-time and get off each day at 12:00, so I can arrive at mothers 12:10 and be at the salon by 12:30 pm. Once you have sprang the news on her that its hair day, you will explain to her at least 7 or 8 times just when I will be here and what time her appointment is. Thursday is also clothes washing day, so hurriedly, I gathered her clothes up and put them in the washer, sit the clothes basket in the middle of the kitchen floor so she'll be sure to see it and remember to take the clothes out of the washer. Sometimes this works and sometimes not.
Before leaving, I lay out clean clothes on the kitchen chair for her to put on before my arriving, I also write on a napkin with a marker, the instructions which read, "DO NOT EAT MUCH TODAY, Jean will be here at 12:10 to take you to get your hair done and then we'll eat at Ryans Restaurant afterwards, don't forget to change your clothes, their over on the kitchen chair. I lay everything on her bar where her food is left each day, because she loves to eat and I know she will frequent this spot quiet often. With this done, off to work I go and then return back at 12:10 pm. As I pull into her drive again, she greets me at the door with her favorite green turtleneck on in 95 degree weather. I question her as to where are the clothes I laid out for her as she turns swearing and mumbling things like I'm a know it all and I need to have my butt kicked by the president or something. I found the clothes I had laid out for her in the dirty clothes closet in her room and asking why did she put them there the only explanation was that "I" must be the one with dementia.
Finally, she is redressed and we are ready to go to the salon. Since it only takes 30 minutes for her hair, it gives me a chance to run home, grab the mail and sit for 10 minutes, then I'm off again. Picking her up at the salon and on we go to Ryans. Now, mother knows all the waitresses there and if she can't get a booth on the side of the dining hall that she wants she'll run down a waitress and make them clean a booth table for us. Today, was not unusual. She gets a kick out of telling the waitress that her daughter wants some rolls and that I have to tell her everything like she's a child. I fill her a plate of salad and a plate of food and of course, I have my pianos (porkchops).
If you read my introduction, you will read why the title of my blog is "Porkchops and Pianos." But if you didn't, I will tell you now. My sister had asked mother one day, what I ate when we came to Ryans, and mother couldn't remember what I ate, so she said it looks like a piano. It in fact was a porkchop with grill marks. I love pork, so this is usually what I eat every Thursday when we come. Our meal consisted of several harsh words and many loving words. Mother has a bad habit of pointing at "supersized" people and commenting. She also has a habit of asking if anyone is in the booth behind us so she can easily expel gas. These two things usually brings about an argument, resulting in her saying that I am the biggest know it all she's ever met and that I should go to Washington and help the President run the country. All this and I am supposed to be her favorite child...!