That's what I think of now when I think about Okaasan: smiles and giggles.
She flaps her arms around and makes sounds of effort as they do in physical therapy sessions.
She talks cheerily about herself in the 3rd person.
She laughs and smiles.
Makes silly sounds.
Claps her hands.
In between she dozes in a wheelchair near a TV, wakes up and smiles at a familiar gaggle of old ladies around the table, waves at staff...smiles...
It is just amazing. And, thank GOD, good - how she has settled into life in a care home. This feisty, proud lady who fought off a lot of help and wanted to do things HER way.
People say to me - and I know what they mean: "Oh, I don't want to be in an institution, being cared for my strangers. I want to be independent".
But maybe, when you can't be independent, when your needs get real simple...maybe most of us can be surprisingly adaptable to the care situation?
This isn't my mother, of course. Would I feel the same if this was my Dad, my step-mum...my own mum?
If it were one of them flapping their arms and chitchatting like a child. Would I be able to accept that the parent-figure had gone and this elderly with a small world of self was in place?
These rambings are just to fill out some blog space, give you a reason to be here.
Cos nothing else very interesting is happening.
2 weeks ago Okaasan was sick after a lunch, but fine again by evening. Dear Son goes about twice a week. I go less. Much less. She walks with a frame, sometimes. We walk her round the local streets. We share can coffee and snacks in her room.
Dear Son has just finished a month of work with a special customer. The weather is good. We will have time to try and take her out in the car. That is our next plan.
Watch this space...patiently.