Thursday, January 2, 2014

Waving, Not Drowning

We all managed to stay afloat during this weird New Year's visit that involved keeping the child recuping from the chicken-pox away from her great-grandmother--and the other children as well just in case they were incubating it. It involved a lot of waving and smiling through patio windows, evening get-aways with glasses of wine in hotel rooms, children sequestered briefly in my garage, and on my boat dock (thanks to C) and explaining and re-explaining about chicken-pox and shingles to my mother. Having had shingles once before, her eyes grew huge every time we talked about it. Absolutely not--she didn't want to go through that again. It was inconvenient and wonderful, this visit. Four generations got together--sort of--for some of the time with some of us actually in the same room. C traveled from Minnesota by plane and bus and train to get here. My son drove his mini-van stuffed full of family from Arizona. M worked us into to her impossibly busy schedule, coming and going. We laughed and talked. Planned and reminisced. And if I were quizzed, I could not tell you how much time all of us actually spent together. My son and his family were the last to leave, and when five people pull out of your driveway your house is instantly very empty.

But I did what I had resolved to do: I began. I ordered the fall detector button for my mom. Of course a fall preventer button would be better. I imagine it would work something like THIS. I called the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging and had a 47-minute conversation about everything with a wonderful woman who took her time answering all of my questions. Tomorrow my mom and I will go to see two adult day care places whose emphasis is more social than medical. I have familiarized myself with the spend-down rules for Medi-Cal. I have a list of resources for home care and caregiver support. I called a friend of a friend who has been taking care of her father, who has Alzheimers, for 7 years without much of a break. I have no idea how one does that. The four of us plan to get together. 

My mother did not seem enthusiastic when I first broached the idea of day care and in-home care, but she's on board now. I actually think she's looking forward to it. Honestly, I would look forward to getting out of the house away from me because I am introverted and boring. I like to read, write, and putter around with various home improvement/organizing/cleaning projects. Today's projects included moving all of my sewing stuff from the garage to the upstairs and all of the single bed linens from the upstairs (where there are no single beds) to the garage (which is where the grandchildren camp out on air-beds during a normal non-chicken-pox visit.) I also cleaned and organized the cabinet under my kitchen sink. That's how interesting I am.

I also finished cleaning out my closet (see previous post) which involved going through a bin of stuff that included a notebook titled "NYC Summer 1984." That was the summer I left my husband behind in L.A. (by mutual agreement) and moved to New York and took classes at HB Studios because it was something I had wanted to do for quite a while. In addition to a wonderful acting class with Bill Hickey, I took a play analysis class with a man named David Fittleson, and the notebook, which I at first  thought was empty and had retitled "Mom" still had notes in it on a bunch of plays including Chekov's "The Cherry Orchard" which is a play that seems to keep popping up with an uncanny amount of relevance for me. This is how my notes on that play begin:

Inaction??!! Bah.


Elizabeth said...

I love this post -- all of it. So visual, so much of you the writer, the contemplative with the superb sense of humor --

Ms. Moon said...

Yes- why ISN'T there a fall-preventer button? Sigh.
I love it that your mother is on-board with these new plans.