Friday, January 31, 2020

#4 Life questions

4. What are your memories of your mother?

Mom is still alive and going to be 91 the end of this month.  Since I am still not feeling well this week (Musinex and I are still friends) all I can think about when asked about my mom is that I've been thinking a lot a bout how her life must be like right now.  She's happy to be back up in Minnesota near most of the family (Minneapolis).  She lives in a wonderful senior building where she can go down for meals and be waited on in a dining room with tablecloths.  She sees family often and loves nothing better than to go out to eat or have visitors.  But...

There's a big BUT in her world.  She's had macular degeneration for years and, despite getting the eye shots, she is losing her vision more and more.  Her hearing has been going for years, too.  Even with hearing aides, her hearing has greatly diminished now.  So, she can't read anymore or even hear audio books, apparently.  She used to love to read.  She used to do knitting, needlework, tatting, sewing.  She can't see her football or baseball games very well or hear what the sportscasters are saying.  Still she watches her sports because she can follow them better than trying to watch a program or a movie (which I don't think she does at all anymore).

Mom had zero interest in technology.  She never even learned how to do email.  Dad did email and had a laptop...till he couldn't see well anymore.  The family got her a headset to wear that plugs into her CD player.  She has always loved music--sang in the church choir and played piano/organ by ear--but, for some reason, she doesn't use the headset.  She just told me when I talked to her a few days ago that she didn't really like what was in the player.  (Maybe she can't see to know how to choose or change the CDs?)  She had told me that the headset wasn't working that well a couple months ago.  Kathy (SIL) brought her to the ear doctor and that's when they said they can't get her hearing any better any more.  So I suppose she doesn't hear clearly even with the headset?  We thought she could maybe listen to audio books.  *sigh*  But when things don't go easily she gets fed up and just quits these days.

Can't blame her.  

What a life to not see or hear well.

She may get a little cranky and frustrated sometimes but she generally doesn't complain.  At least not when I talk to her on the phone...sometimes for an hour or two when I do call.  Mom is so grateful to Blaine and Kathy for taking such good care of her and loves seeing the grandkids and great grandkids.  Blaine picks her up for church on Sundays and they go out to eat once a week.  Kathy cleans her place every week, buys her groceries, takes out her trash, brings her to appointments, takes her to lunch, etc.  She's an angel!

But what a drastic change to deal with.  

No reading.  No movies.  No crafts.  Even when you have a visit with friends or family you can't understand the jumbled conversations if more than one person is talking (which is always the case with our family--LOL!).  She and Dad had always been sports and news junkies.  Now she's down to half-seeing the Twins and Vikings...and wondering what the score is or why someone is lying in the field.  Eventually she will find out the score...or know who won or lost in the end.

Mom can hear me pretty well on the phone because I am a born loud-talker.  She can hear Kathy well, too, for the same reason.  :)  Mom used to be a loud-talker herself.  Now she's quiet with a soft, low voice...and getting frailer every year.  But her spirits are always lifted by a visit or a phone call or (whoohoo!) going out to eat!

Love you, Mom.  Even though I know you'll never read this.

The end.   


Rita said...

Comment to get comments. :)

DJan said...

I have AMD, too, as you know. It's the dry kind, which just progresses either slowly or quickly without any treatment available. I take the vitamins and am careful not to forget my sunglasses (although here there's not much sunshine to worry about right now), and so far I can see in my central vision. I cannot imagine how it would be to lose both my eyesight AND my hearing. I am glad your mother is doing so well otherwise, though.

Bonnie said...

I know it must be hard for your Mom having both her hearing and vision impacted. It is too bad the head phones don't work well for her. I am so glad you are able to talk on the phone with her. I remember when it got to where my Mother could not hear me well on the phone and how hard it was to feel so out of touch with her due to that. We lived in different states so the phone was our primary contact. It is good that your brother and his wife are able to help your Mom. I know that must mean a lot to her.

Janie Junebug said...

At least she can hear you and your SIL. Maybe Kathy can figure out what she'd like to have in her CD player. Life is filled with gains followed by losses.


Far Side of Fifty said...

Good that she is near family:) Too bad about the hearing loss, I thought they could make just about anyone hear better now a days:(

Friko said...

My husband was in a similar situation to your mom for the last year of his life and felt the loss of clear hearing and eyesight keenly. In a way I am glad he didn’t linger for longer than he did. I am glad your mom has family to help, at least that gives her as much pleasure as she can experience.

Divers and Sundry said...

These kinds of changes can be so scary and frustrating :( and I'm glad she has family close to provide support.

Deb J. in Utah said...

What a lovely tribute to your mom. My parents both died suddenly in their 70s, so never really declined in that way, which was really a blessing. You are a good daughter. Thanks for sharing this.

Jon said...

What a beautiful post, Rita. It's wonderful that your Mom is 91 and has a good place to live, and people who care about her. But it's also frustrating and heartbreaking to see our parents deteriorate.

My mother also had macular degeneration - which kept her from reading and doing all the things she once loved. She also had many health problems which kept her house-bound during her final years. I suppose the most important thing is that our parents knew how much we loved them.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I talk to my mum everyday some times 2 or 3 times a day.
My mum isn't tech savy either, dad was though

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I can't begin to imagine life without both hearing and vision. One is hard enough, but that is SO sad. I was raised by grandparents. My grandfather had me doing "boy" things, like building things, working on cars, etc.. My grandmother wouldn't let ANYONE in her kitchen. If you wanted a glass of water, she got it for you. I couldn't even cook when I moved out on my own. But I could do many things most women could not, like inspect a car to see if it was right for the price. I hope your mother doesn't give up. It would be SO easy when you are hearing and vision impaired.

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

That would be frustrating to have challenges with both hearing and vision. That's good she is closer to family and is in a place where she can be taken care of - especially with meals. It sounds like a nice place with the tablecloths on the table.

My mom had macular degeneration as well and loved to sew and craft. It was devastating for her not to be able to do that any more years before she died.