Never ever imagined I'd be caring for an elderly lady in Japan.
19 years ago today my mother died - I was here in Sapporo when I got the call from my Dad and step-mum to tell me.
Later that year I met a Japanese ski instructor who was here for early-season training.....19 years later I am cleaning his mum's room, monitoring her bath times and making sure she gets home for dinner safely.
Would never have imagined it.
My Mum was only 69 years old when the melanoma/blood cancer killed her. She'd fallen a few times and seemed to have weak ankle bones. Then doctors discovered a soft part in her skull...
69 years old seems so young. I am 54 now. 60 is coming soon. There are so many things I still want to do in life - I need much much more than another 15 years to do it all!
Meanwhile. Okaasan at soon-to-be-84 is going strong.
Not AS strong. But still strong.
The day after we did the family trip to the shopping mall she took herself by subway downtown for a coffee and bought a magazine. Came back within 90 minutes.
Her trips downtown are much less now. Mostly local walking.
And we have a screwdriver plan for the bathroom door.
Dear Son has now supervised a few bathtimes for Okaasan, making sure she gets out by herself safely.
Then she locked the connecting door!
So, he was found a screwdriver that will open the locked door - in case she is in trouble and we need to get inside. Interesting that she locked the door - she never has until now. I wonder if it is a reaction to our closer monitoring of her private time? But bugger that - it IS essential that we can get into the bathroom.
Oh. And wine....
Last night DS asked his mum as dinner ended: "Have you had enough? Are you happy?"
To which she replied grumpily: "No, everyone has wine and I only have water!"
In fact my coffee cup contained water too. Only DS was drinking the delicious looking red stuff with his dinner.
We will have to be rethink. Probably shouldn't drink alcohol in front of Okaasan if we aren't going to give her some. She gulps it down in seconds, and then looks around for more - it could be hard to refuse her once it is in view. She has NO control over what she drinks.
Ho hum. Water for family dinners from now on!
Wine for special occasions...