I’m Grateful for the Pandemic
Two years ago, despite my best efforts, which, admittedly were never that great to being with, I had to admit defeat, swallow my reservations, and place my mom in a Long-Term Care facility. Luckily for me, Mom didn’t quite understand that LTC in today’s vernacular meant nursing home in hers. But she figured it out pretty quickly, and the betrayal in her eyes was unbearable.
Six weeks later, the world went into lockdown. Our LTC’s here in Canada were sealed against the outside world, and everybody’s aging parents were kidnapped, some never to be seen again. Families were traumatized, our elderly were confused and frightened, and we were all just trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
But my world was a little different. My mom has a condition where her body no longer makes its own red blood cells. She requires regular transfusions. The prognosis for this disease is terminal, with the life expectancy averaging four years.
Mom is now in year 13.
Aside from this relatively inconvenient and conveniently predictable glitch in her matrix, her only other real medical issue is this little memory problem she has. It’s not Alzheimer’s or dementia — she’s still quite and very much herself: cheerful, friendly, intelligent, and incredibly adorable.
In her bubble of present tense.
Talk to her for five minutes, and there’s no hint of a problem. Stick around long enough though, and she loops back to the beginning.
“Oh hi! What’s new with you?” (Notice the callouses from the facepalms.)
Lucky for me she has a great sense of humour. Lucky for her I’m hilarious. Because patience is not my strongest attribute. I’ll repeat myself only so many times before I finally give in to messing with her.
She eventually catches on and always insists that I am a Cheeky Beggar.
(She’s an avid reader and a book hoarder. We have to keep sneaking into her room and stealing all the books back to the library when the staff notices they’re running short again. I solve this problem by keeping one of her favourite books close at hand and regularly moving the bookmark back. So, I…