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Blogs of Writer, Artist, Photographer, & Caregiver Joanne D. Kiggins

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Joanne has published more than 2,500 articles and was award recipient of the 1990 Woman of the Year for Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for her accomplishments and excellence in journalism and to the community. Her co-authored book, “Unforgettable Journey,” won fifth place in the Grand Beginnings romance contest. An excerpt from her WIP, “Unearthed,” placed her fifth in the Absolute Write Idol contest. Most recently, her essay, “Perseverance,” is published in the Stories of Strength anthology in which 100% of the profits are donated to disaster relief charities. Her most recent articles were published in ByLine Magazine, Writer's Digest, AbsoluteWrite.com, and Moondance.org. She has a monthly freelance writing column at Absolutewrite.com. Currently, she is the sole caregiver for her 85-year-old mother.

Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve

The last day of 2007, New Year’s Eve, was a quiet one. I took Mom to day care for their New Year’s Eve party and Two and I went to Wal-Mart to buy a few movies to add to our collection. Stacey called to wish me a Happy New Year because she was having company for New Year’s Eve and she knew I was, too.

I picked up Mom at the usual time, brought her home, made dinner, and got her ready for bed. I learned a long time ago that it’s always easier to get her ready for bed before dinner because she’s always exhausted and less lucid by the time she finishes eating.

Mom received a piece of mail and I had her open it before dinner. When she looked at the envelope, she asked, “Who’s Sheila?” I said, “Ray’s wife.” “Oh,” she said. “Why’s she sending me something?” Mom asked. “I don’t know, Mom. Open it and see what it is,” I said. Mom opened it to find a picture with a post-it note on it. She couldn’t read it and asked me to read it to her. So I did. When she looked at the picture she asked, “Who are these people?” I told her the people in the picture were her grandson, his wife and their two daughters. Mom was seated in the middle of them. She recognized herself. “When was this taken?” Mom asked. “That was taken at Ray’s house when you went up there on Christmas,” I said. “I went there for Christmas?” Mom asked. “Yes, Mom. You went there for Christmas." “I don’t remember,” she said, as she put the picture on the table. She glanced at the picture several times while eating and I could tell by the wrinkles in her forehead that she was still trying to figure out when she’d been there and trying to figure out how the people in the picture were related to her. I tried to explain that Ray’s son is her grandson and Toby’s kids were her great grandchildren, but she didn’t comprehend the relationship at all. She just said, “If you say so.” She’s not able to comprehend how this all relates to her anymore. It is so, so sad. Even sadder is that she didn’t realize Christmas was here and gone.

During dinner I could tell she’d had a busy day. The lines on her face were more prominent and her eyelids were drooping. She was exhausted and as usual wanted to go to bed shortly after dinner. She was snoring her loud nasal snore within 15 minutes of being in bed.

Two came down to spend New Year’s Eve with me and spend the night. It was one of five times he’s stayed in the three years I’ve lived with Mom. Three were on New Year’s Eves and two were because Mom asked him to stay because she was afraid and wanted a man in the house.

We watched one of the movies we bought earlier in the day. Yeah, I know, on New Year’s Eve, it’s sort of odd to watch Halloween, but it was something to watch and we enjoyed it. Angel called to wish me Happy New Year and said she and Tim were staying home for the evening and watching Shrek 2.

Two and I snacked on a meat and cheese tray his dad brought us on Chritmas. It was delicious. The movie ended at 11:00 and I turned on the news to watch it and then planned to watch the ball drop at midnight. Two fell asleep during the news and I watched the countdown for the New Year. He woke up long enough to look at the TV, wish me Happy New Year, kiss me, and went back to sleep. LOL All in all, New Year’s Eve was a nice day and evening.

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Blogger rainbowheart said...

Happy New Year, a kiss and then back to sleep. That is a way to ring in the year. If I would have been home, it would have happened the same way with me but I was out babysitting my nephew....lol. We decided to go to the same party at the same friends house...lol ...I have you have a great year Joanne.

1/01/2008 11:32 PM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

The kiss and me getting a good night's sleep was the best way I can think to ring in the New Year. :D

1/02/2008 5:02 PM  
Blogger rilera said...

The forgetting of loved ones is the most heart wrenching part of this awful disease. I feel your pain.

I'm glad you were able to spend time with Two.

1/02/2008 10:50 PM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Yes, Robyn, the forgetting of loved ones is the most heart wrenching part beside watching the physical and health decline. I know if I weren't around her 24/7 she probably wouldn't know me either. Even down the road there may be a time when she forgets who I am. Knowing that, though, doesn't make it any easier. We just have to remember that it's during those times they need us the most because they are so fragile.

1/02/2008 11:42 PM  
Blogger ~Betsy said...

When I read about our LO's not knowing their family, it breaks my heart. I can't imagine how frightening it is for them.

I'm glad you had a nice New Year's Eve. ((hugs)) for you and Two.

1/03/2008 8:21 AM