This is the “new regular”.
As I noted in my last Day Log, my world turned upside down two weeks ago when my elderly mother was taken into hospital and the decision was made that she could no longer live alone in her home. I had a great deal of support from other noders at that time (and I thank you, one and all) but all I knew then was that I was exhausted and feeling overwhelmed. One of the support messages I received said that I would “become familiar with the new regular”.
I am still exhausted but now it has become normal. Part of the “new regular”? The dog is a bit miffed because I spend so little time with him these days apart from his early AM and late PM walks around the block. Sorry, Bronco, that’s the “new regular”. Breakfast and lunch are something I eat in the car while driving somewhere. “New regular”.
Apart from that, things are starting to fall into place. I work as the local administrator of a non-profit organization which means that, except for a part-time assistant, my entire staff consists of volunteers. The first thing I did was to inform them what had happened in my life and how it would affect them : “You made a commitment to this organization and I am asking you to honor it in the strictest sense. If you can’t do your shift for any reason, please find a suitable replacement.” So far only two people have been unable to report for work and both arranged for another volunteer to cover the time slot. I have not had to hold down the fort because a volunteer failed to report for duty.
It has worked so well I have been able to visit a number of ALF establishments and have decided on the one my mother will be transferred to after leaving the rehab center where she is now. She understands that it will be a "studio apartment" in a very nice ALF instead of a bed in a nursing home. It all depends on how much she can do for herself.
She is working very hard in her physical therapy sessions so she can regain the muscle tone she lost in the past few months. She is up to 60 to 80 steps with a walker and today, for the first time, she returned from the dining room to her bedroom in her wheelchair without assistance. That is progress.
At her house I’ve cleaned out the fridge and pantry, double-locked all windows, installed relay lights in various rooms, and informed the neighbors of what is happening. For now, everything else will remain the same as far as the house is concerned. It’s her home and it will be there if she wants to visit it.
Her mail is re-directed to my post office box; the various home deliveries and routine services that had been in place (except for lawn care) have been cancelled. She’s given door keys to a number of people so they could enter house without her having to go to the door; I had a locksmith change the locks. Her friends have been notified, and this week she is beginning to have visitors other than me and my daily stop with clean laundry and fresh news.
One last item as part of the “new regular” : The night before she went into hospital she had spent the night in her recliner chair because she was unable to move and it was “too late to bother you”. She stayed there until she telephoned me at 4:30 A.M. and,
All night long our clock kept striking the hour and the half-hour, and every time it did I said, “Thank you, clock, for being here with me.”
”Our clock” is a Seth Thomas mantel timepiece that has spent several generations in my father’s family. I took it home with me because it has to be wound every eight days. It “pings” on the half hour and strikes on the hour. Every time I hear it I am reminded of my mother. Thank you, Clock.