Today in My History

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3 April 2019

It is nearly 2 a.m. and I have finally put down Joe O'Looney's book, having finished the section on his campus ministry in Berkeley which was fascinating. I'm even listed there, along with "Gerry" Finnegan (he obviously needed a proofreader).

It was a short section (compared to the exhaustive but mostly interesting section on his years as a Navy chaplain) but brought back a tsunami of memories.  I ended up sending Char 3 texts at 1 a.m. and must make sure Walt reads that section as well.

In yesterday's entry, I said that I was sad that my mother can't even remember who Father Joe is, much less remember his book, so I would not be able to let her know how much I am enjoying it.

What an amazing surprise I had in store for me!

I went to Eldervilla and found her sitting on the couch chatting with one of the other residents.  She smiled when she saw me and when I sat down next to her, I could see that she was more "with it" than she has been in months -- possibly in years.

I asked her if she remembered Father Joe and she said "oh sure" and she remembered his book, but didn't think she had ever read it (she doesn't remember  typing it).

Joe and my mother during his Navy years

But we had an actual conversation today.  I don't know how much she understood of the things I was  telling her, but she looked interested and responded mostly appropriately.

She also told me that sometimes there are lots of people coming in and out of the house and it's very confusing....this is what she complained of at Atria, when she would get angry...but said that she realized they were saying interesting things so she just sits there and listens.  Halleluiah.

Sandy came in while we were visiting and gave me a report on how she is doing, which is well.  She still has bad moments, but fewer of them, and they have learned that she doesn't want to do something you tell her to do, but if you let her do what she wants things go fine.  She even can find her way to the bathroom.

He also told me something he hadn't said before, and it kind of made me a little angry.  He said that based on what he was told at Atria about her behavior that he almost decided not to take her.  Given how she has improved under the care of Sandy and his employees, I am thinking  that the problem at Atria was that nobody did anything to understand what her problem was.  I'm wondering now what they said to him.

One of the most fun things about my visit with her was watching her flirtatious behavior with Sandy.  He told me she has sat on the couch beside him, put her hand on his arm and her head on his shoulder.  She has always had to have a man in her life and she seems to have accepted Sandy as the new guy.

He told me that she can play the piano a little and I mentioned that my father was a piano player and he said "I know...she told me" and then added, "...and she said he was not a very good man."  So memories are there and she is accessing them again.  In this small space, were it's difficult for her to get lost, she seems not to be panicking and so her brain can do other things. 

It may be only for this one visit, but I'll take it!  For once I didn't leave feeling depressed, which was a wonderful feeling.

I had planned to go to Sacramento today to turn in a form to my eye doctor to sign, so I can finally get my driver's license.  My temporary license expires next week.  But rain was predicted and I don't want to drive during a storm.  As it turned out, we never got more than a sprinkle.

But there is clear weather predicted for the next two days so I'll give it a try again tomorrow.

BTW, for anyone who watched the link to Ned's first video for Brianna, here is a link to the last video he made for her, last year.



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