Two posts in 48 hours!!! wooohooo!
Confession time: today I spied on my Okaasan. Followed her around downtown, lurking in doorways, diving into shops to fake-browse....
I really must get a life. This is sad.
No. There WAS a good reason. Really.
I wanted to see how she was on her own downtown after a long winter absence. Whether she could walk ok, whether she would know where to go...she has spent four months in front of the TV with only twice a week walks round shopping centers. She is 84 years old. I want to feel confident that she is going to cope with the cage doors - sorry house door - open again.
At the moment the road right outside the house is snowy and icy. But within 2-3 weeks? It'll be clear and one day she is going to set out alone again.
So, after lunch I took her by car to the local subway station. Left the car at the supermarket and rode the subway with her downtown. At every direction choice place I hung back so that she had to make the decision about which way to go.
Odori subway station in the center of town has had a big facelift this winter - new public seating area (that local homeless have already adopted) and even new elevators and exits.
Once I felt Okaasan was in a familiar place I told her I had to meet a friend for an hour to help with a translation and that we'd meet near 4 pm in her favorite coffee chain shop.
Off she staggered, clutching a bag.
I fiddled on my cell phone a bit.
Then followed her.
She went along the shopping mall.
Into the 7-11 convenience store.
Bought a coffee.
Drank it for 10 mins.
Then bought a magazine.
Came back along the mall to the station area.
Stood for several minutes looking at the subway ticket machines: probably trying to think how she had come downtown.
Then walked to a different underground shopping area.
Up the escalators. Sat in the bank foyer, chatted a few minutes to an old man.
Out into the street and across the park area to her favorite coffee shop.
I was a super spy.
I went to a different coffee shop and read a book.
Ironically a great book a friend gave me about a woman...with dementia: Elizabeth is Missing....
At 4 pm I went to "find" her.....
Sitting with her magazine and empty coffee cup. Didn't want to come home yet!!
Of course. Enjoying her freedom.
First time out alone for four months. I am sure it was a great feeling.
So I left her. A little concerned that she would walk too far, fall down etc etc
But decided to take the risk.
I came home. Shopped for dinner and an hour later...on the computer GPS system I saw her on the subway heading home.
Mission accomplished. She is tired a little, but ok.
I do feel reassured, that she has the physical energy to walk downtown. And the mental power to look after herself.
Luckily there will be snow outside the front door for another few weeks, so she won't actually be able to set out alone. The day helper is still coming for another 4 weeks for the Wednesday trips. DS will be here more.
Spying!! It was kind of fun....