Saturday, February 12, 2011

Me, Myself and Irene!

The forecast is calling for snow; lots of snow. Thinking that I might get snowed in and unable to care for mother for several days, has me thinking about bringing her to my house during the storm. A little concerned about the stairs in my home and wondering how mother will fair with them, causes me to began thinking about other solutions. I just happen to be talking to one of my teen granddaughters at church, prior to the predicted snowfall when a light bulb comes on. "How would you and your sister like to make some money?" I ask. "Doing what?" Savannah asks. "Staying with your Mema during the snow storm" I cautiously answer. "Sure!" she says. "Well, talk it over with your sister and get back with me" I tell her.

It's not long before the phone rings and my two granddaughters have agreed to spend three days snowed in with mother. I quickly head to the grocery store and stock up on any and every needed item, from ice cream to facial cream before they change their minds. With teenagers, it doesn't take long until my bill has ran up higher than I had intended. Groceries and granddaughters are delivered to my mother's house the evening before the storm is to come in. Mother seems elated at the prospect of her two new found young house mates.

Mother remarks at how pretty the girls are and asks their names. As you enter into her guest bedrooms, you can see shelves of pictures, hosting my granddaughter's with various family members in their earlier years. Spending time at Mema's house from time to time was a given as Savannah and McKenna grew up. Today they have come as a helper to their Mema, instead of a great granddaughter.

The snowstorm finally comes to an end and the whole ordeal is behind us all. Mother and the girls enjoyed their days together with few reports of demented events and actually how mistaken we all are about my mother's condition. As days and weeks pass, Savannah and McKenna agree to spend the night with mother from time to time.

It's a Monday evening and McKenna alone has agreed to stay the night. I have called mother to tell her that my husband and I will soon be down to stay, unbeknownst that my granddaughter McKenna will be staying instead. The phone rings and it's my daughter informing me that she will be taking McKenna to mother's in a short while. Since my husband and I get our share of staying each night, we are tickled for McKenna to stay in our stead. I quickly call mother to tell her the news, thinking that she will be pleased to have her great grand spend the night once more instead of us. What a mistake! Mother begins to question McKenna's ability to call for reinforcement just in case some disaster might befall them. I assure her that she is quite capable of taking care of things, being that she is 16 years old.

The phone soon rings back and it's mother, telling me not to tell that young girl to come down there. I once again assure her that things will be fine with McKenna there.

It's morning time, and I phone ahead of my arrival as usual to bring mother's meds and pick McKenna up for school. "Hello" mother answers. "Come open the door for me" I say. "Well, Jean, there's somebody in my house" she whispers. "Mother, that is McKenna, come open the door for me."

As I enter the house, I can see a perplexed look on McKenna's face. Mother sits at the kitchen table whispering and pointing at McKenna's back as if she has not a clue as to who she is.

It's time to head off to work and drop McKenna off at school. Our ride there has been a little curious as McKenna has asked who "Irene" is. She tells me that Mema has stepped into her room this morning inquiring if she is "Irene's daughter."

As the day goes on, I have called as usual to check in. Mother begins informing me that Irene's children have come and spent the night with her and that they need not return. I have known some Irene's in my lifetime, but for the life of me, cannot figure out who mother is talking about.

My sister Sue, who lives out of town has called and mother gives up a little bit more information. We now find out that her cousin's children have been there and their last name is "Thompson." Trying to tell a person with dementia that they are mistaken is useless, so we just all get a big kick out of the fact that someone named "Irene Thompson's children have been to spend the night with our mother.

Til this day, mother still thinks my granddaughters are the Thompson girls and refuses to have them come back for a stay. One thing is for sure, Savannah and McKenna will have a tale to tell their grandchildren one day about their Mema!

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