Wednesday, September 5, 2012

One Ringy-Dingy...

When I visited Mam-ma Polly yesterday, I found her cordless phone in the floor behind her night stand.  Honestly, she has not spoken to anyone by phone in months, and it would be virtually impossible for her to do so now.  I have left the phone in her room more for her peace of mind... an assurance that not everything has changed.  But in reality, everything has changed, and the fact that her phone was on the floor behind her night stand told me that Mam-ma doesn't even notice.  Removing the phone will actually give her more space on the night stand for things that do matter now, like her drink cup.

So this morning, I called AT&T and disconnected my grandmother's phone service.  The number that has belonged to my grandparents all of my 55 years, and probably longer, no longer belongs to them.  I have to admit, it was a bittersweet moment.

A speech therapist is working on papers to qualify my grandmother for her assistance... to see if there is anything that can be done to help Mam-ma get out at least a few coherent sentences.  It's worth a shot.  We believe she knows what she wants to say, and LORD knows she certainly tries to talk... but the words just will not come.  Her frustration is clearly evident... and often she simply cries.  Through gritted teeth, she told the Hospice nurse yesterday, ""

I don't know what will happen in the next few weeks/months.  I've reserved a room at the ALF for a 100th birthday party for Mam-ma on November 4th (her birthday is actually the 5th, but that's a Monday).  This morning, I sent the requisite application form and photo to Willard Scott, in hopes he will recognize Mam-ma on the TODAY show on her birthday.  While these things have to be done well in advance, I know there is every chance that the birthday celebration will never happen... and that is fine with all of us, because I know that an even bigger and better celebration will be taking place... in Heaven.

For now, I will remove the phone and remind any who might still try to call my grandmother that she can no longer communicate with them in this fashion.  I hope whoever gets this number next enjoys using it as much as she did... and has even half as long a run with it.


Mark said...

I haven't kept up lately. Sad to hear that she cannot speak much anymore. My grandmother (mother's side) could not speak at all the last time I saw her, and she was only in her 70's. She could hear and understand us, and reach out and hold our hands, but she could not speak at all.

The phone disconnection is such a simple yet unexpectedly sentimental thing. My childhood home still has the same number as it did in 1972, and I suspect my parents had that number in their prior home. I suspect it will continue to be in service until they no longer are.

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

I know how hard that must have been. And yet, I know the joy you have in KNOWING that this is just a temporary condition - someday...someday she will be in her new body, as is my beloved father and husband, and someday we will too. And all of this will truly pale in comparison. But until then, we just keep plugging away one step at a time. And what a blessing you are all being to her as well as setting such a great example for so many others. You are in my prayers.