Wednesday, February 10, 2010

When Mom forgets you called, don't take it personally

Mom is forgetting that I call her and I must tell myself over and over not to take it personally.  She's been at the nursing home for a week now and I've talked with her at least four times but she doesn't seem to remember.  I get the same questions:  "How did you know I was here? ......How did you get the phone number so quickly?......Who sent me here, the doctor? .... How long will I be here?"  I just answer and don't tell her that we discussed it the day before or that we've discussed it three times before.

Intellectually, I know I should not take this personally but it's my MOM and it's hurtful that she doesn't remember talking with me.  It also concerns me very much since I worry that her memory will only get worse.   I think she's not remembered our talks for some months now but I didn't want to admit it to myself.  She would seem pleasantly surprised when she heard my voice on the phone and each conversation would be just the same.  For a while I told myself it's because she didn't have much to talk about but the hard truth is that she doesn't remember. 

She DOES remember visits.  My cousin saw her last week and brought flowers, she's told me about it each time we talk.   I'll just have to get there so she remembers seeing me.  That should make both of us feel better.   I remember my Mom's reaction when her own mother failed to recognize her.  Grandma thought my Mom was her sister, Alvina.  She asked about the kids and who was caring for them.  The "kids" were my Mom and her brother.  Grandma thought she was hospitalized after surgery and looked forward to returning home to her husband and kids.   My Mom was hurt that her own mother didn't recognize her but took heart that she was eager to return to her home, her kids, her daughter.  Now I have to do the same and realize that Mom is happy when I call even though it's bitter sweet for me.