Despite a rocky start, I had a pretty good visit with mom today. When I went in, I could tell immediately that she was agitated and out of sorts. She didn’t smile; in fact, she gave me a thoroughly disgusted look. I asked her to come sit with me, and she sternly answered, “NO!”

I turned to the girls and asked if she was having a bad day. Yep, she had been this way since waking up this morning. Okay then. Bad day, it is.

After giving her a couple of minutes, I tried again. This time, she did come over and sit with me on the couch. She was very chatty, but I couldn’t make heads or tails of what she was saying, except for the fact that she was bothered by something someone was doing. REALLY bothered. After talking quietly to her for awhile, she settled down, and from that point on was very loving. She kept stroking my face, hands, and shoulders, and at one point patted my leg just the way she used to, bringing back memories of happier times.

We sat outside on the deck for awhile, which she really enjoys. When I think back to her being at Outlook and trapped inside, unable to enjoy beautiful days like this, it makes me sad. I’m so thankful that at Eason House, she can go outdoors anytime she pleases. I believe that feeling of freedom makes a big difference in her quality of life. While we sat, she told me several times how pretty it was as she gestured toward the lovely wooded yard and ravine.

It was one of those days for me, though. I wasn’t feeling great to begin with, and I suppose the reality of the situation got the best of me. Seeing her this way; so childlike. Unable to communicate her thoughts beyond a word or two. Wandering aimlessly at times, and lighting up like a Christmas tree when one of the girls handed Dora to her… I don’t know how to describe it. “Surreal” is fitting, but isn’t a powerful enough word to describe the depth of it all. Sometimes I can’t believe any of this is real. Or that the woman in front of me is my mother…