Thursday, August 16, 2012

Polly talk, August 15 and 16

I'm trying to call Mother as often as I can, in the mornings when she's less tired. I talked to her last time about her concern about Sam; I know she's talked to both of you about this too. She read me the letter she wrote. This blew me away: The sentence, "I am an alcoholic."
In all the decades we've been dealing with Mother's alcoholism, I don't think I've ever heard her say those words.
It almost seemed like she wrote the letter to Sam so she could read it to us and say them that way.
And the ripples in my brain pool from hearing her say that are still sloshing around in my head.

This morning when I called, she said she'd had a bad night and had a call in to her hospice nurse.  She was the worst I've ever heard her; I'm sure you two have heard the gasping speech before, but she usually rallies when we are on the phone. Today she had to take a breath between every word. Painful to listen to and excruciating for her. 

She was eager to tell me about a long conversation with Beverly Brown. She and Jim are contemplating moving to assisted living, but I think they mostly talked about the rift in the Malouf family. I think Mother felt good about making the connection.

Her caretaker was there to give her a bath. Her skin has been bothering her, and I told her my rather complicated regimen for moisturizing, so she was going to try that.

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