As I enter mother's house, I smell an odor that probably most of us have smelled at least once in our life...a rat! I have been smelling this unpleasantry for the past several days. I have searched high and low for this menace, but no luck! I also have questioned others who have visited mother in the past several days if they have experienced the same odor as I, but to no avail, I have not been able to hear a yes. I can't believe that anyone who has a nose, couldn't come up with at least a "maybe!" I even brought my husband Bob in for a sniff and he as well didn't think it to be anything serious. Not even mother can smell this creature and I can assure you that she doesn't take kindly to my complaining about this foul odor in her house. Quickly, I run to the bathroom to grab a can of Renuzit and spray anything and everything I can before heading out to work.
Today is grocery day, so after finishing my day up with work and afternoon chores, I run to the grocery store and buy the needed items for mother to make it through another week. Entering the kitchen, I can still smell a faint odor of rat and Renuzit, but think that the odor can be manageable now. I comment to mother that the smell isn't as bad as before and she remarks to me that "You should know, since I know everything that goes on down there." It doesn't take me long to see that mother is in a bad mood. I ask if she isn't feeling well. That was not a wise question to say the least! Mother gives me a look and says "If you had to live in this place for a day, you wouldn't feel so good either. Who in the world would want to live in a Hell hole like this!" As always, my reply is "well you know you can go live in a retirement home if you don't like it here." As I put mother's groceries away, she sits at the kitchen table, dishing it out to me, and I don't mean "food!"
I remember how proud mother was of her beautiful home some 17 years ago as she and her new husband Yates had built their dream home. Every detail of every square inch of this house was orchestrated by mother and Yates.
After the passing of my dad, mother struck up a friendship with Yates at the local nursing home while visiting my grandmother and while he was visiting his mom. One thing led to another and mother and Yates fell in love. Mother wasn't the only one smitten, the entire family fell in love with this kind, gentle man who had a quick, shy smile for everyone, a gentle touch for mother's children and a soft lap and silly song for all of her grandchildren.
Wedding plans were soon made, but first, house plans were laid. Yates and mother chose a plot of land located nearby his old home place. Everyone agreed that it was just the perfect spot for these two newlyweds to build their home and live out the rest of their lives. Their home was built with much love and care. This house has played host to many wonderful family gatherings throughout the years as well as serving as a place of mourning for the sweetheart of the house, Yates, and my oldest sister Doris.
Driving home, I feel frustrated as I think about the rat that nobody can smell but me, and how dementia has stolen mother's love for her beautiful home.