Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Time Well Spent with Mam-ma Polly and Timothy

We've had several visits with Mam-ma Polly lately.  However, she hasn't always felt like walking the halls and pushing Timothy in her walker, which he loves.  We sat in the dining hall for a long time Sunday, looking at the fish tank.  Timmy loves it... and Mam-ma really needed to sit and rest.  It worked for both of them.

I'm seeing a steady decline in Mam-ma's overall health and well-being.  It's nothing definitive, but she is struggling to put her thoughts and words together, and that worries her.  She told my mom that a dear friend and table-mate, Ruth, asked, "What have I done to you?  You don't talk any more."  Mam-ma told Ruth that she had not done anything, but she also added (in true Mam-ma Polly fashion!), "You need to wear your hearing aids!"  Mam-ma doesn't understand that Ruth may have trouble using them in a noisy dining hall... and she may simply forget to put them in.  Regardless, she doesn't wear them to meals, so she can't hear what Mam-ma says... and that makes Mam-ma very unhappy!

We are enjoying our time with Timothy... he learns something new every day. I have enrolled him in a local daycare for a few days a week as a "drop-in."  He needs the structure and stimulation of being with other children; however, it's been harder for me than I thought.  I am the "mother" I laughed at when I was teaching - the one who worries that Timmy will cry or feel abandoned when I leave him.  And he did cry when I dropped him off Monday morning for a fun-filled day.  I stood outside on the sidewalk and listened until the crying stopped - less than 30 seconds!  All the way home, I told myself, "You are doing what is best for Timothy."  I've told myself that many times about Mam-ma Polly, as well!

I remember the day we drove her to the ALF to move into her new apartment. I felt like I was leading a lamb to slaughter as we drove out of her driveway... but I can see (and I knew at that time) that this was the best place for her. And it's much that way with my 2-year-old nephew. I know this is best for him... and it gives me and his grandmother a break... but it is hard to leave a child who is crying and asking, "DebDeb... where are oooo?" - even if you know he is in loving, capable hands.

This sandwich has many layers, and all of them have a lot of "flavor" - some are even a little bittersweet!


Kaye Swain - SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation said...

Awwww, what a cutie! As a fellow member of the Sandwich Generation enjoying babysitting grandchildren and caring for elderly parents, I could certainly relate. It's definitely a sweet joy mixed with those bittersweet moments. It definitely makes life more challenging and yet sweet. Thanks for a sweet post. :) Have a lovely week.

Heather Mundell said...

Debbie, I think the sad "drop offs" are just so difficult, even when you know that the person who's being dropped off will come to feel differently soon.

Timothy is so adorable!

Debbie Robus said...

Thanks, Kaye and Heather... we're pretty crazy about Timothy, too!