Okaasan and Me will hit the road this November.
Playing the double act, with support from Dear Son and assorted family members in Yokohama, Kawagoe and an airport near you.
Shopping! Travelling! Chatting! Toilet Breaks! Lost Things! Packing! Panicking! More Shopping! Eating! Controlling the Alcohol Intake!
Oh my God. It's gonna be hard.
But DS contacted Okaasan's younger brother and his wife and they wildly offered to let the three of us stay in their home, or in a nearby hotel. They'll organize a wonderful family dinner. It'll all be splendid. Okaasan will walk the streets of home again. Kawagoe. The city of her birth. All those glorious memories.
I have to get her a hair cut.
Prepare her clothes.
Tell her we are going.
Help her...pack. And pack again. And again.
Get her into a bath.
Get her to the airport.
Steer her past lots and lots and lots of airport shops.
Fly with her to Tokyo.
Steer her past more shops....and onto trains.
Get her to the first night hotel stay in Yokohama.
Then DS will meet us and the three of us will settle into the hotel. Have an early dinner. And then Okaasan will snooze in front of the TV in a nice hotel bedroom...and we will sneak away to the Elton John concert for a few hours of escape.
Praying that Okaasan doesn't escape the hotel.....
I am already trying to imagine each stage and what might happen.
It doesn't happen until November.
But I can rehearse it all in my mind till then.
All the variations of what might happen....
Okaasan, hopefully, won't know anything about it till a few days before the trip.
* Having a hard week at the moment. DS has his regular customer for the bike taxi. But it isn't just taxi using, he acts as a kind of personal escort and shopping helper to a sight-impaired lady. Pretty demanding of his time and energy. He is working every evening and doesn't come home till gone 10 pm. THEN he wants to unwind with a beer and Tv...so I am awake late.
And at 5 am the cats are demanding breakfast. I feel I am operating on failing batteries.
It's like the weeks in winter when he is gone.
I had dinner tonight with Okaasan. But she's been a bit abandoned this week. Lots of lunch box deliveries and food left out for her on the kitchen table. Of course she doesn't count the days of this because she is just going from moment to moment - but at some level the lack of human contact and conversation (such as it is from my tired brain) must impact her mood or feeling.
Tonight her usual story of the flower business man who gave her a high quality hydrangea bush when she was a 50-something housewife somehow all got mixed into "my house when I was a child in the war, but of course we didn't have flowers in the wartime, so I don't know what happened to the hydrangea..."
I didn't correct her. Just agreed that flowers didn't survive wars.
* And tomorrow DS is taking her for her mental health check up and dementia assessment at the clinic. Every 2 years apparently. This is so we can reapply for day care services this winter - the day care worker who will come once a week and take Okaasan shopping in a taxi etc
So, that is what DS is doing with Okaasan tomorrow.
That Name 5 Things test, Draw a Clock etc. Dear Son will probably fail the test himself thru sheer exhaustion. Then I can get public assistance for both of them and never have to cook another tofu dish again.
It will be interesting to see what the assessment is.
A little worse I guess. That's what we feel about Okaasan's dementia level.
She is less physically active now. Less talking. Less personal care. Less environment care. Memories of adulthood and childhood are often mixed up.
But okay. I think.
Hence the trip. Time to go connect with her family and past while she still can enjoy it.