December 26, 2011 #2–Christmas

It has been a couple of months since I’ve posted.  Not because I meant to “be absent,” but more that things seemed to be up and down with such frequency I didn’t know what to say.  Still can’t be definitive about anything, but perhaps that is the new reality.  When she is rested and calm, she is the most sociable, outgoing person in the world.  When she is tired or upset. she does not function normally either mentally or physically.

And what upsets her can as easily be ancient memories as well as imagined slights or misunderstandings.  The previous post is an example.

She speaks positively about Whispering Pines, but can’t remember it’s name.  She likes the staff, the residents, and her roommate, but can’t remember their names either.  She can’t remember my dogs’ names, but loves how they beg for her attention.  Though I try to give her decisions to make (about little things), she doesn’t want to.  Her usual response is, “I’ll do whatever you like.”  This applies to choices for dessert, what to wear, and often, what to do.  For example, knowing her stamina is limited, I offer either 1. go to a concert Saturday night, or 2. go to church Sunday morning.

She is not physically up to doing both so close together, but choosing one or the other seems to be more than she wants to do.

We had an abbreviated version of a “full Christmas dinner,” and opened a few gifts.  While I was cooking, she “tended” to my dogs as they respectively came up and sat between her feet under the glass breakfast table.  Maki, my 15 year old, only likes his butt scratched, which doesn’t make for a good photograph!

William is her special pet.


William was temporarily  sated, so Gigi got her turn.


On the sofa after opening a few gifts.


About estherfromolmsted

written and maintained by Tina
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One Response to December 26, 2011 #2–Christmas

  1. Albert L Hester says:

    I got out to see Esther Thursday morning. I called first and they said it would be fine to come today. As I entered, there were all the ladies, including her, clicking and clacking with rhythm band instruments to a guitar player not with unlimited talent doing Christmas carols. My Scrooge-like reaction was pity for the poor captive audience having to put up with it. But then I thought, the guitarist was generously donating her talents.

    I am sure the ladies would happily watch a guinea pig sleeping on a zither, there is so little for them to do. W. P. really tries to have things for them, but it’s pretty tough to sit there in the lobby day after day.  A little of that goes a long way with Esther.   She was participating, but when I signed in, the W. P. people got her up from her chair and escorted her onto the sun porch.  We are getting them well-trained. We had a good talk and a Christmas prayer together.

    She remembered the open house last night and that Tina was there for it.  She said she got tired and went to her room after a while.  She remembered my name but then forgot it. She trusts me enough to ask when she forgets and did so right before I left. I believe the recent memory is slipping more, but still she holds on well to earlier memories. She seems to be able to hear me pretty well, and we discuss some meaningful subjects, not just contrived conversations.

    She seems to be quite hearty and is interested in a good conversation. I have basically shortened my visits to no more than 40 minutes now. I can see it takes its toll for her to be attentive and on top of things for more time than that. But she dearly loves to have company!

    I got her a Chick-Fil-A gift certificate.  It is interesting that my mother, too, when she was in the nursing home, dearly loved to get out and to get a milkshake.  I think they crave sweets a lot and it makes them happy.

    I’ll see her again after Christmas

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