Don't cry for Mom, Argentina.
She's doing just fine.
We moved Mom to her new memory care home on Monday. With the help of all the boys we could muster, we did the entire move and room set up while Mom was at Thelma's Place that day ("You deserve a break today!"). We took a plain room with a lovely view of the gardens...
...and turned it into a homey oasis with a lovely view of the gardens!
The Other Girl reserved the honor of being the one to take Mom to her new home, and I was (Cowardly Lion) relieved to hand over the task. They arrived in the late afternoon, with The Other Girl leaving after dinner. It was an awkward exit as the staff didn't seem to have much of a plan, but it came off without tears, at least for Mom.
So, how's she doing? With twice daily phone calls to staff and a couple of chats with Mom, I've gotten a good idea of how she's dealing with the transition:
SUPER GREAT! INCREDIBLY AWESOME! HAVING THE TIME OF HER LIFE!
Gawddamnit. Couldn't she be at least a little sad?
Her first evening Mom began introducing herself to her new neighbors. When I spoke to her that night I was drunk and choking back tears. She however, was calm, gentle, and sleepy.
Her first morning, the caregivers didn't get the info on Mom's special creamer and gave her coffee without it. She dumped that coffee on the carpet (most likely because she couldn't find the sink), which got her a fresh cup of coffee with her creamer, and the morning crew a gentle scolding from the office administrator telling them they'd be cleaning coffee off the carpet every morning if they didn't get it right.
That afternoon she and her new friend Liz were busy rearranging all the flower pots to their liking, and her other new friend Alice was a constant companion on walks around the grounds.
She has been spending most of her time out in the common areas, has not questioned her surroundings, nor has she asked for either The Other Girl or I. Did we drop Mom off at college by accident? What the hell?
While I'm working through gut-wrenching bouts of sorrow, she's flitting through memory care meadows of of fun! What next, a boyfriend with a combover who had a Harley and a meth problem pre-dementia? I won't stand for it, I tell 'ya! When I talked to the care giver last night, I told him if Mom gets any happier you just remind her I'll be coming by to ruin it later this week. I mean, who does she think she is?
But I know who she is: someone who deserves the ease this transition has been for her. I hope this new life continues to be peaceful, bring contentment. I also fervently hope I can fit into it, that my presence won't mar her newfound serenity. That to benefit her, I won't have to keep my distance.
p.s. "But, how did the curtains turn out?" You ask. Well, as I said my sewing skills are crap ("Shock and... ah, wait, what?"), but I did do nice, neat seams. However, I kinda forgot to measure...