Today after I bathed Mother, I brushed her hair, and she asked for her lipstick. I gave it to her to hide away in her Kleenex box with her other "goodies." In spite of being bedridden, she wanted to look presentable, pretty. When I teased her, she said, "There are no good-looking men around here." I motioned to my father and said, "What about him??" She laughed her little girl laugh. The last few months she has resorted to that: a little girl laugh. Much of what she says is reminiscent of a school girl now, complete with a hearty, child-like laugh.
It has been five months now since Mother came home from the hospital with congestive heart failure under hospice care. The last few weeks Dad has had a caregiver come in Monday-Friday to help her exercise her legs and get into a wheelchair for a time. We are still waiting on the long-term insurance to kick in so the caregiver can be five days a week for most of each day. Let me just say: NEVER< EVER use John Hancock Insurance. NEVER!
The last few days Mother has been getting mixed up or confused. One night she saw someone who was not there, and today she thought Dad was six years older than she. (He is three years and nine months older.) There are other little things that she is confused about as well. It's not Alzheimers, of course, but I attribute it to old age.
When I came in this morning, she was hungry. She had gotten mad at Dad earlier and refused to eat breakfast. He had snapped at her over something she accused him of, but he had apologized. He was hurt. She had accused him of not doing something for her when he has devoted the last five months, indeed, the last 66 years, to doing just that. He told her that he promised her all those years ago that he would take care of her the best he could, for as long as he could. For the last five months, that is exactly what he has done. He has stayed in that house, day after day, caring for her. He has left on the few days when my brother or I am there each week. That is when he goes to the stores, not out to have fun.
All I could think of each time he has said he will take care of her as long as he is able is this: One day when he meets Jesus face-to-face, He will say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." Dad is the hands and feet of Jesus to my mother. He is the model of Christ-like behavior to his wife.