Guilt got to me.
Yesterday I saddled up, strapped on my spurs and headed out into the wilderness that is Okaasan's room to clean.
A month left alone and what did I find?
5 plastic bags/screwed up old newspapers containing peed-on underwear, some soiled pajamas and some trousers. About 40 other pairs of underpants in the laundry baskets and around the room ... lurking.
One old lunchbox.
Not so bad.
I also had lunch AND dinner with Okaasan, as well as sending her off for an afternoon walk and picking her up in the car from the subway station as it started raining.
Meal times were so silent. I tried to lob over some likely topics of conversation (Dementia 101), but apart from a few comments no topic seemed to ignite her interest. We ate in silence and I used laundry and work to prepare as reasons to get away from the table as soon as possible.
I know mealtime isn't chat time for this generation in Japan, but as the silence deepens and plummets into a dark hole - it is really amazing that she can sit across the table from another human being and say nothing.
Exhausting saying nothing.
But I am back on duty.