Our day started about 9:30. I went downstairs and fixed us both toast, eggs over easy, and coffee. I had to do the eggs twice because the first time they weren’t “easy enough” for her AND I had to go get the cream because the coffee wasn’t the “right” color! Anyone who knows my sister also knows that when it comes to food everything must be perfect or it is not edible! After we ate I got dressed and then helped gather the things that Carol wanted to wear for the day so they would be ready for Janine the bather, (Carol’s nickname for her) by 12:00 or 12:30. I learned that she comes every MWF to give Carol a bath and wash her hair. She was such an upbeat, positive and sweet young lady.I really enjoyed meeting her. She appeared to really enjoy her job and was gentle and kind. After she left, we watched another movie and then some HGTV, another of Carol’s favorite things. I discovered that the process of bathing, drying her hair and getting dressed was quite exhausting for her. Watching a movie helped rest her and then we were able to talk for a while.
We spent a lot of time today talking about Skipper, Luci and Luci’s young children Levi and Milo. Skipper is an extremely close and dear friend; I dare to say that she is like a sister to Carol. They have known each other for years and have traveled together, lived together and experienced many life changes together. Carol so enjoyed having Levi and Milo there. They seemed to bring such joy to her. It pleases me that she enjoyed having them visit. They drew her pictures and had picnic in the floor of her room. She beamed as she talked about them, just as if they were her own grandchildren. I hope that Luci and Skipper realize the joy they brought to her when they visited. I know I was smiling at all the stories!
The hardest part of the day for me was getting used to seeing my sister struggle to get out of bed and use the walker to go down the hall to the bathroom. Such a task is so mundane and rote for most of us that the majority of the time we don’t even think about it. For her it required thought, time, effort and a struggle each and every time. As I watched her, in the back of mind was a nagging question, how much longer will she be able to do this on her own?
We avoided the conversations about her illness and what the future held. Maybe if we don’t talk about it, IT will go away.