across the spectrum

christmas window

This morning I was in the kitchen dancing the “dinosaur dance” with granddaughter Petite Fille, who is almost 22 months old now, and her Mummy, Daughter1.

By lunch time, and a hour’s drive later, I had donned a set of reindeer antlers and was singing Christmas carols alongside my sister, in the dining room at my mother’s care facility, The Home. Life in all its spectrum.

Three generations of Flamingo Dancers, dancing

Two generations of Flamingo Dancers, singing.

By chance, the musicians threw in the Glen Campbell song, “If you see your brother by the side of the road, with a heavy load…” which was our Dad’s favourite song and the one that we played at his funeral. My sister and I looked at each other and sighed. Memories.

Mother is quite away with her fairies most of the time, though flashes of humour still come through. When I tried to take a photo of her in her Christmas crown she poked her tongue out at me! That’s my mother!

She has developed the habit of popping her top dentures out at random moments. We were singing carols and I turned my head to see her sitting with her teeth in her hand. Her hand movements seemed to communicate that she was attempting to rinse her teeth – though she was sitting in the middle of a party.

Sitting at lunch, and it was an enormous lunch of sandwiches and devilled eggs, party sausages,  boxes of deep fried everything, as well as fruit cake, fruit skewers and fruit punch, I heard a clatter. Mum’s teeth had hit the floor. She was sitting on my blind side, so I hadn’t noticed her slip them out, (okay, I was busy pigging out on the fried food!) but somehow she did and now they were on the floor. Sister rescued them from under her chair and went to wash them. Sister is a better person than I, for I would have just shoved them back into Mum’s mouth.

Mum’s motor skills are really slipping and she fumbles with any food that is handed to her, but she can pop dentures out at will! I remember that our Dad became fixated on his dentures towards his end too. What is it with demented people and their dentures?

Dad’s teeth actually got lost as he was moved from ward to ward in the last couple of weeks, and were not to be found after his death, so poor Dad went into the hereafter minus his teeth. They were returned to Mum in the mail some months later!

After lunch, we wheeled Mum back to her room, and set up a small tree and hung Christmas decorations around the room. The last thing we did was hook a Christmas stocking on the end of her bed.

Between dancing, singing and being nice I am totally exhausted. I may need a holiday from my holiday, soon!

 

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6 thoughts on “across the spectrum

  1. The last Christmas we had with my mother where she was still semi-lucid (she died just over a week after the Christmas of the next year), the soundtrack to the film “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” was played. It was music my mother grew up with, and – out of nowhere – she started singing along to every song. A Christmas miracle? A last Christmas gift?

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    • The last real visit I had with my Dad, who had not remembered me for the previous 2 years, his mind totally cleared and he insisted on sharing his lunch with me. He was the Dad I had known all my life. The next time I was with him, just days later, he was on his death bed. I believe The Big Whatever gives us one last moment and we need to embrace it.

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