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Today in My History
"The Little Princess"
Books Read in 2013
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1 June 2013
Can to be that my mother has taken her last trip to the house in Terra Linda? I do believe so!
I went to breakfast with her this morning, noting with pleasure that she seems to have the breakfast routine down just fine, with remembering to take her key, locking the door, and going to the dining room. She also told me that she woke up at 5 and went down to the lobby to get coffee to bring back to her apartment. YES!
We had breakfast and then got in the car to drive to Terra Linda. On the way down, I told her that I have noticed two positive things about her since she moved to Covell Gardens one week ago. I have not heard her complain about her back. I know it still hurts, but I have not heard the usual expletives and racing for her chair to relieve the pressure on her coccyx. She's not doing much, so her back doesn't hurt.
I also notice that she is sleeping much better. When she wakes up early, she goes back to bed...and back to sleep. I think this has greatly improved her attitude, if not exactly her memory.
We got to Terra Linda around 10:30 and literally within seconds, she was sitting in the remaining chair hunched over, groaning "Oh God...look at all this stuff" and holding her head in her hands.
I tried to get her to focus on just getting things that we had forgotten, and that she needed in her new apartment. That was 50-50 successful. She wandered from room to room, wringing her hands about how much work there was to be done, opening a drawer or picking up an item, then putting it down, and then would head back for the chair because she was feeling dizzy.
At one point she looked at me and actually said "I probably should not have come back here, should I?" I agreed with her and said that we would take all the things we were packing today back to Davis and then not bring her back again until we had removed all the "stuff" from the house and had it ready to sell. She actually agreed.
I told her we should start in the bedroom and concentrate on taking the rest of the clothes she wanted. She opened a drawer and found a bunch of purses. I told her to pick one or two she wanted to take, but she had to go through every. single. purse. and remove every. single. tissue and throw it away. It took forever. But she was doing something, so I just let her, and encouraged her.
She eventually got clothes chosen, leaving half of them behind, and packed more shoes, as many as would fit in a bag.
Ed had arrived by that time and was doing his own thing with her financial records, and his daughter Denise came to say goodbye to Grandma. I went out and got us sandwiches and by the time we had finished those, it was time to take her for her hair appointment, what will probably be her last with her hairdresser.
While she was getting her hair done, I delivered the equipment for her LifeLine to Marin General Hospital. What with distance and traffic, that little jaunt took an hour and she was just getting her hair finished when I arrived. Her hairdresser is German and my mother is stoic and rarely displays sentimentality, so there was no tearful goodbye...and the hair looked pretty good. She's so convinced nobody can do her hair like Hannah can that I took before, during, and after pictures to show the hairdresser at Covell Gardens (and hope for the best).
When we got back, there really was nothing to do but pack up the car and come home. Ed's wife Jenny came to say goodbye and help carry things to the car.
All things considered, my mother really did very little today, other than choose the last of her clothes to bring, I was so glad I had thought to make the hair appointment during the middle of the day.
As we were getting ready to leave, she said "I know I'm forgetting something important. I'll have to make a list for next time we come back." I reminded her that she wasn't coming back again and she started to protest. Of COURSE she needed to come back. There were IMPORTANT THINGS that she needed to bring.
Actually, it was a short-lived protest and by the time we returned to the car it had spent itself out and she was agreeing that this would be her last trip. I had made a playlist of music of the 40s to play on the way home, hoping it would make her sleepy. I had played the same list a year or so ago when we drove with Peach to visit the ranch where she grew up. These are songs I grew up singing with her, her favorite artists (Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole, etc.) That time she had sung along with the songs and really enjoyed the list. Today, she said "I remember hearing some of those songs. This is something your father would have enjoyed." Eventually I turned the music off, since it was obvious that she was not enjoying it.
The ride home was abominable. Traffic was so slow that Hwy 37, which usually takes 30 minutes to drive, from Highway 101 to Highway 80, took nearly an hour. Top speed through most of it was 5 mph. But the worst part was my mother. I really was ready to kill her. The one thing I HATE is when I am trying to merge with a line of cars and someone sees I have signaled to move into their lane, they speed up so I can't get in, and so do all the cars behind that car. So today whenever I saw a car trying to get into my lane, I slowed down and let a gap open up so they could. Every time I did, my mother would loudly express exasperation that someone would dare to try and cut in, even when I told her I was deliberately letting them in. I think in the grand scope of things, my politeness may have cost us 3 minutes in drive time!
It was a long, long drive and we arrived at Covell Gardens about 15 minutes before they stopped serving in the dining room, so we went directly there to order dinner (Walt had joined us by this time, to help carry boxes from the car to the apartment).
Dinner was not very good. I suspect you do NOT want to arrive at the end of the dinner hour in a place like Covell Gardens. My chicken cacciatore was not very good and the pasta was hard and cool. Tiramisu was on the dessert menu, but they had only one teeny piece left, which Walt and I shared.
I sent Walt out to get a telephone cord so we could check to see if her phone is working now (it is!!!) and while he was out, I decided that we should NOT unload boxes tonight, because if we do, she will unpack them all tonight and she looked so exhausted, she really needed to go to sleep. Besides, I didn't want to schlep boxes any more than she did!
So we have brought all the stuff home and I'll take it to her apartment tomorrow. I'm turning her loose to have breakfast alone tomorrow morning. If things go well, I may take her to see The Great Gatsby tomorrow afternoon, but we're playing that by ear and see how we both feel. Walt will be helping to run the Citizens Who Care Beer Fest, so he's not available to schlep.
But, dear God, it's OVER. She is a Davis resident and she has said goodbye to her Terra Linda house and turned the disposition of it and all the "crap" in it to Ed and me. When we got off the freeway in Davis she said "This looks like home."
PHOTO OF THE DAY
The Last Appointment!
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