He was home for the weekend: so he was on duty.
Friday night I was helping a friend with a leg injury reach her evening classes by driving her there and back. I left curry and salad in the kitchen late afternoon, and he came home from work to heat it up and eat with Okaasan. Mother and Son dinner time. :-)
Saturday morning I told him he needed to take his mother out for lunch and a walk.
"Oh, let's go to XX shopping mall!" he said happily.
"No, YOU take her there for a walk and lunch. I've done a lot of Okaasan service recently. And I need to get into her room and clean!".
And so. He took her out in the car to a big store for walking and shopping. I stayed home and did a cleaning blitz on her room.
Some horrible finds....she had a large toilet accident at night and had hidden away the toilet floor mat. And three pairs of pants that I couldn't clean enough to rescue. And a lot of orange peel, peanut shells, banana skins....it was yuk. But it was better than going for a walk/shop.
They actually bought famous lunch boxes and came home to eat. Family time.
A friend came late afternoon to tune up her skis, then stayed for dinner too. Okaasaan was nervous with a foreign guest, she sat bolt upright and didn't actually eat anything (but had stuffed a whole box of sushi at lunchtime), although she enjoyed DS teaching the foreign friend how to use chopsticks. More family time.
Sunday morning I was out with friends at a flute concert. DS did lunch with his mum.
Sunday night I cooked dinner for the three of us. Family time.
Monday morning he left again for the mountains. BUT - he will be back on Christmas night :-)
Having him here for three whole nights was great: for him and me as a couple, of course. But as carers for Okaasan. Having the break I needed from thinking about it and doing it. Monday to Friday Okaasan is lucky to get a few short conversations with me, maybe a meal with me. Have a bath. Get taken out on Wednesday by day care.
At weekends she needs more conversation and another trip out of the house. So it was great that he was here for that.
Is she aware that she isn't going out much now? Probably not really. A few times last week, when I came home and commented on the weather. She responded with a casual "yes, it's bad weather, so I didn't go out today"...but I think her awareness is that it is only "today". We know it is five days a week of staying in the house.
I had a year end lunch with some students yesterday. As I said farewell to two of them at the station - two VERY energetic, fun 80 year olds - I was aware AGAIN how different people are at the same age. These women are out with their hobbies and friends on a daily basis. In charge of their lives: shopping/cooking/money management/planning.
Okaasan at only a year or two older: in a daze in front of the TV. Waiting for the next meal to come. Given small amounts of money to spend. Not cooking or cleaning. Making lists for shopping and cooking she will never do.
Both my lovely 80 year olds are singers; church choir and a chorus group. One of them is even still an active mountain climbing club member!
Dementia makes such a difference to someone.
This week is the slide into Christmas and not so much work. Then winter holidays. My schedule gears up again after January 5th.
This year Christmas?
I've actually got a class on Christmas morning (noooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!)...and then three foreign friends have invited me to join their cooking lunch plans. One of them is an artist living in an art community guest house nearby - it has a big kitchen and so we, two Brits and two Australians, are going to cook up a feast.
It'll be SO SO good to cook and eat Christmas food with people who actually have a Christmas sense - I am really looking forward to it.
Trouble is...now Dear Son is coming home in the evening...and although he says he isn't to bothered about Christmas...I know I should do something special. But I'm going to be stuffed and sloshed from lunchtime....so it'll be something easy-to-cook and vaguely festive for him and Okaasan.
Thursday is going to be a hard eating day.
Okaasan's mind is already on New Year. She cuts out New Year food adverts from the newspapers and is making a list...
Since New Year is likely to be her and me...just the two of us... I have to find a way to stop her buying all that stuff....
But first. Christmas!