This is a Happy Belated Mother's Day post because my butt is slack and I did nothing yesterday even though I wanted to do this post. It was a nice day and absolutely beautiful outside and I spent most of the afternoon sitting in the sunshine on the porch. Lewis and I started the day at Lowes buying fencing for the backyard. I had told him on Saturday that I wanted to get that done and since he is the "man" of the house, he got up early on Sunday and went pricing fencing and the supplies at both Lowes and Home Depot. We ended up going ahead and buying everything that we needed and after walking out the door several hundred dollars poorer, things are now moving forward. He did get the holes for the posts dug out and he got the end posts set in concrete. Lewis, his brother JR, and his friend Kyle will be doing the work. It may take awhile but that's ok. It's just nice having the guys around to do it. I may have started off taking care of Lewis but now it's the other way around. I don't know what I would have done without him these past 18 months. He is such a good son.
Jessica and I went to see Butch on Saturday. It had been three weeks since we had been down and unfortunately he is not doing well. He looked good but looks can be deceiving. He was having a lot of trouble walking and I could hardly understand him. We did our usual Wal-Mart, go out to eat, take a little ride, ice cream, and then back to the facility routine and each time I had to physically pull him up and out of the car. He was having a lot of weakness on his right side. I don't know if maybe he has suffered another little stroke or what exactly is going on. We always have him use the wheelchair in Wal-Mart now and as far as walking, it's just pulling up to the restaurant and to the door, but he can hardly walk that far these days. I made the mistake of asking him when we went to get ice cream whether he wanted a cone or cup and of course he wanted a cone which, I don't know why, but I ordered for him. I should have known better but I just wasn't thinking. Luckily, Jessica finished her scoop in the cup quickly and we dumped his cone in there and helped him with it. Sometimes it's just so easy to forget that even the simplest things can be hard.
Today, I watched the first in the HBO Documentary "The Alzheimer's Project". I also watched the third episode entitled "Caregivers". Talk about hard. I now have a headache and a swollen face from crying so much. If you don't have HBO, you can go to their website and watch the series online. Please do. It doesn't show all of the ups and downs, but it sure shows a lot. I think the hardest part was watching the first episode with seven different stories which while watching, I realized was showing the seven levels of Alzheimer's/Dementia. Butch is somewhere between a five and a six most of the time. I never knew until living with this that sufferers can bounce between stages at any given time. It's one of those things that I guess the Drs. don't think to tell you. Really, for me the hardest part was watching the gentlemen that they showed at the seventh and last stage. He was hospitalized and the Dr. came in and told his wife that when they get to the point that they can't swallow then the end is near. As most that read this blog know, Butch is now having swallowing issues in that he has to have all of his liquids thickened so that he doesn't aspirate them. It was just kind of a smack in the face when I heard that. Sometimes it feels that this will go on forever, like a nightmare that you can't awaken from but on the other hand when it ends, it will leave Jessica without a father. As many issues as Butch and I have had together, I hate to think of the day when Jessica loses him. That is her dad, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that she is his everything. Jessica and I were just talking this week about how hard it was when he was being so combative. I don't know who he was uglier toward, myself or her. His focus was on me and he would lash out at her when he thought she was taking my attention away from him. It was all so strange at the time, but now I know that this is the norm if there is any normal to this disease.
Enough of this for right now. I need to be posting about Mothers Day. I thought for Mothers Day I would post things about my mom and one of my favorite pictures of her. This picture was taken in 1991. Jessica was about 15 months old and it was her first snowfall. Mom stopped by my house on her way to work just to take Jessica out in the snow. I love this picture of the two of them together.
Now, for some favorite things about my mom.
1. My mom still will let me climb up on her lap and love me. Yes, it sounds crazy and usually I will just kind of lean up against her, but I know that I am never too big to be rocked and loved on. That knowledge alone is enough.
2. She made me a lime birthday cake when I was seven. It was lopsided and usually I don't like cake, but my favorite ice cream then was lime sherbet and I requested a lime birthday cake. She made it, it was not beautiful, but I will never forget it because she made it for me. For those that don't know, my mom normally does not bake. She always laughs and says that my dad didn't marry her for her cooking. She does do some killer fried pork chops and great stuffing on Thanksgiving.
3. I learned my detective skills from her. I will never forget the time she was trying to be nosy about someone and she took me and a friend to the store, sent us in to buy candy bars and then had us go up to the house that she was being nosy about under the guise of selling the candy bars for school. She knows the rest of the story and I won't embarrass her by continuing it here but I always thought that that little episode was pretty ingenious.
4. She would go to the ends of the earth to see that we made good grades. If you don't believe me, read my post in April entitled "You might be a redneck if..."
5. She is a good writer and wonderful artist. I don't have an artistic bone in my body but I remember my mom writing poems and such when I was growing up. She also always ended up helping me when it came to anything artistic because that just isn't me. It was her suggestion when I was in fifth grade that my BFF, Janet, and I go dressed up on Halloween as a pair of dice using boxes as our costume. I think that was my favorite Halloween. Jessica however, did get that ability. I'm so glad that she did.
6. She is a wonderful friend. My mom is my best friend. I love her so much. Even when we are fussing between each other, I still know she loves me and would do anything to make my life easier. When I disappoint her I know she still loves me. I know she will love me no matter what.
7. She is smart. To think she was in nursing school in her thirties blows my mind. As I have said before, she went to school from 8AM-3PM, caught a little sleep and then worked from 11PM-7AM. She did this for 18 months and graduated number one in her nursing class. She was just telling Jessica last week about how she would study, study, and restudy and it would upset her when she got a grade any less than an "A". She doesn't want Jessica to stress the way that she used to, although Jessica still does.
8. She messes up her words and expects me to understand what she is talking about. Like saying pink pelican when she meant pink flamingo amongst other things. After almost forty six years I know the look when she spouts one thing but means another.
9. She is a HUGE Rod Stewart fan and has seen him three times in concert. She has worn out who knows how many tapes and CD's of his music. How fitting that the day my brother was born, the Rod Stewart song Maggie May was number one!!!
10. Because of my mom, Jessica has been able to say she has had a lot of pets. Let's see, there has been gerbils, a hermit crab, and last but not least, a dog, knowing that I was terribly afraid of dogs. What was I going to do when she shows Jessica this sweet little picture of miniature dachshund puppies and says that her and grandaddy want to get her one? Now, of course, Kasey is my little buddy, but almost six years ago I was not a happy camper. I'm glad my mom doesn't always listen to me.
There we go. Just ten random things about my mom. I love you Mom!!!!!