Showing posts with label aging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label aging. Show all posts

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Just a Few Observations for my less than Exciting Post



            Tuesday morning I woke up with a stinging sensation on my left arm as though it has been used as a pincushion.  Why all the pain?  I must have encountered a plant that doesn't like me (most plants don't) or heat rash perhaps?  My arm doesn't appear to have a rash visually, but from the inside, the prickly feeling was driving me bonkers.

            Jenna and I had gone to the library.  It wasn't until after I returned that I felt what must have been small cuts on my index finger (just under the knuckle).  Must be from dry skin.  Yesterday I realized it was a sliver of some kind - probably wood.  My left index finger was turning pink. I think I might have gotten it out when I soaked myself and opened up my pores.

            In addition to our house trim in need of painting, our Juniper jungle is in need of sprucing up.  I am the wrong person to do it.  I butcher plants beyond recognition.  I was out there with hedge clippers for what felt like days - but I don't even think it was an hour.  I had to stop.  I didn't want to get heat stroke.

            I was just going to take a shower, but decided on a bath instead.  That way I could soak my arm and finger and hopefully lose the pain.  My entire finger isn't pink anymore.  Still a tender area, but I think I got the sliver out with a final soak (just my finger) in peroxide. 

            Finally we have cooler temperatures that have invited neighbors to come outside to spruce their own yards or walk their dogs or what have you. 

            Roland was on the ladder last night.  I admire his strength.  He is older than me - though he looks 10 - 20 years younger than he really is.  He doesn't appear to be in the greatest physical shape, but he is strong.  The latter's got to weigh fifty pounds at least.  He moves it with ease.  I can't even budge it.

            Roland can climb the latter while holding on to the bucket of paint and paintbrush.  I can't even climb stairs with things in my hand.  I can't look up or else I get dizzy.  What a weenie. 

            Jenna shimmies up the hill in our back yard as quickly as a snake.  Roland is not quite as fast, but manages to get up there without getting out of breath.  I will be panting somewhere near the bottom - angry at myself for letting myself go.

            I used to squat all the time before Jenna was born.  Ever since that time I leak quite badly every time I just think of squatting.  And now my right knee usually cries in pain whenever I try.  Or I will have succeeded in squatting but require assistance to get back up.

            This morning I was out in the jungle with the clippers, trying to trim in down.  I got a lot of it, but there are bushes in the middle that I just can't reach. 
            The weather is nice.  It's not raining in the valley - but there is definitely moisture in the hills as they are hidden from view.  It is pretty cool to look around knowing the hills are there but not seeing for the moisture - the moisture that wasn't there just a few days ago - when the temperature both inside and outside were hot and unbearable.

            Today is Jenna's last day of school for this school year.  She'll start the 7th grade in September.  She's one of the few kids who isn't excited about summer and being out of school.  When we went to the library on Tuesday, she checked out eight books.  Yesterday I returned them as she had read them all - except for one that she really couldn't get into.


            This summer I plan to teach her a bit of geography and American history.  I think children shouldn't be ignorant of that - and yet many of them are.  There's adults in their 20s and 30s who are clueless to some of the names of cities and historical or political figures.  I think that's wrong.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

My Mind and My Body Don’t Seem to Agree




            All of my life people have thought or think that I am younger than I am.  My mind finally agreed with them and has accepted myself as younger.

            When people had asked me how old I was, I seriously had to stop and think about it and subtract 62 from whatever year it was.  Now I add 42 years to whatever Jenna’s age happens to be.

            Before I gave birth to Jenna, I had a bad case of tendonitis – or maybe it wasn’t that bad.  My cousin Michelle had experienced something with her hands – only with her there was pain.  With me it was just numbness – like Novocain numbness.  I’ve never been paralyzed – but I did have a tingling sensation sometimes.  Mostly my fingers just felt lifeless – even after Jenna came along.

            She was the most patient baby.  I would cry as I would try to do up her snaps.  There were only three of them, but it always felt like I spent more time with snapping and unsnapping than I did at changing the diaper itself.  My hands had no strength.

            Gradually the feeling came back and I knew once again that the blood was flowing into my veins.  But lately I have experienced the same numbness – especially when I am writing – or even just holding the pencil/pen.  Both of my wrists have given out on occasion and now it’s the right knee.  My body is aging and my mind isn’t handling it very gracefully.    I don’t wish to live in a body that’s breaking down.  I would like a new one.  Or I say I do, but then I go and mistreat it by feeding it ice cream or chocolate chip cookies and really haven’t done a great intake of fruits or vegetables. 

            I don’t totally blame myself.  Sometimes things happen no matter what precautions are made.  A traffic accident.  A slip on a missed step.  Getting a body part caught in the door or between things.  Though my hearing is not the best, I am grateful I have not lost it completely.  Though I no longer have the same vision I did at ten, I am grateful to have glasses to help aid my vision.  I am grateful for the many people who have chosen to become doctors and for scientists and engineering and for the things that have been created to assist my aging body.

            Jenna LOVES the TV series, Brain Games.  There have been a few episodes that pit one generation against another.  We all have strengths we all have weaknesses.  The part of the brain I didn’t use as a child has apparently gotten stronger for me as I’ve grown older.  I guess as those parts have strengthened, the others have become a bit more lax about sending the right signal to my ears or eyes or fingers.  I don’t know if it’s a good trade off.  Perhaps. 

            Hopefully I can use my mind to its fullest and fulfill my desires in other ways that perhaps my body won’t allow.  I already know I won’t be doing “Pirates of the Caribbean” again.  The last time we went to Disneyland, my legs complained.  I don’t know what kind of desk job I’d be able to find in Myrtle Creek, but I have decided against working as a cashier or in food industry.  I can’t stand for very long anymore.  I think this move ruined what was left of my body.

            I really am trying to focus on the positive.  I’m really not graceful about aging.  Not that 53 or 54 or whatever age I am is all that old.  My mind thinks I’m in my 30’s still.  My body is telling me I may be pushing 70.  I’d like for my mind to win.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Ted and Trudy Will Outlive Us All





          I have mentioned my Aunt Gertrude (Trudy) in at least five posts before.  She will be 95 at the end of this year.  Her brother, Ted, just turned 99.  Both are hard of hearing, but very sharp and knowledgeable.  Their bodies have weakened over the years, especially Trudy's.

          Aunt Trudy was always doing for other people.  For many years she drove a friend to the grocery store.  Up until a year ago, Aunt Trudy was still driving - even in her overly bent shape.  I don't know that she ever had an accident, but I still felt a sense of relief to know she wasn't able to renew her license again.  If she just hadn't taken that spill on Easter Sunday in 2013, she probably would have her driver's license.  For she wasn't so frail until after that.

          My cousin, Michelle, sent out a facebook message to the family to give us an update on the status of Aunt Trudy.  I read "St. Mark's" and "pneumonia" and thought of each of my parents.  Mom, who died only ten days after being admitted to St. Mark's hospital, and dad, who had pneumonia when he passed.  But as it turns out, Aunt Trudy is still in great health - aside from her hearing and now her weak legs.

          It is now Aunt Trudy's time to be served rather than serve everybody else's needs.  She obviously can't drive Ted anywhere. Thus several family members have been rallying around Ted and Trudy to get them to appointments. I think taking them to an attorney would be a great appointment to make and keep.

          Aunt Trudy had taken another fall and was taken to the hospital.  She was in the hospital for even less time than she had been in 2013.  Back to rehab.  Even closer to the assisted living where my mom was staying.   Michelle encouraged family members to put in so many hours a week so that Ted and Trudy's welfare may be attended to. 

          I feel helpless not being able to contribute my time as I am in another state.  At the same time, I know that if I were in Utah right now, I would have a sinus infection that would put me out of the loop for a while - not as long as Ted and Trudy will be around.  They say the secret to living such a long and healthy life is to eat sardines.  Apparently I will not live near as long as the thought of eating sardines makes me nauseous. 


          Ted and Trudy have outlived their two older brothers by 40 and 50 plus years.  They've outlived two sisters-in law, 2 nephews, 1 niece, a niece-in-law as I'm certain many others.  I had heard they had three aunts who had lived to be over 100.  As of now, I don't see any truth to that if the records are accurate.  It appears that Ted and Trudy have more years on earth than even they did.  

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Goodness, Gracious! Where’s My Head?


 
One day a month, Roland and I try to set up a double date with one of our boys and his wife.  At least two have suggested that we go see a play.  But we cannot just drop by a playhouse and expect to get tickets.  They have to be reserved.

In March we had gone to the park for picnic with Tony and Rochelle. After we got home I looked into buying theatre tickets for the date this month.  I purchased four tickets to Desert Star’s “Into the Hoods” for yesterday afternoon.  I first approached Jeanie and Biff.



Jeanie declined, as she and Biff would be celebrating their wedding anniversary – ALL DAY and Not With Us.  Okay.  If they had already made plans, no big deal.  I could call Randy and Carrie and if they couldn’t go, there’s my sister Kayla and her husband, Bill or we could go with Tony and Rochelle again – though they are notorious for NOT being on time – and that could put a damper on our plans.

Randy and Carrie had committed to go with us and had been looking forward to it for almost a month.

 
Meanwhile, it was announced in church (several times) that we had a “golden banquet” coming up for the seniors in the stake.  Theoretically I am too young to attend by myself – but Roland is of age and so I would attend, as I am his partner.  When it was first announced, I thought: “Oh, we’ll be able to attend.  We will be home by then.”

Before we went to Oregon, I had asked a friend if we could do lunch.  I think she shared with me her free days (while I was in Oregon) and I said I would call her when I got back.

You must understand that I have always had a mind for remembering things – from the past.  Future things, I’m not so good with – and never have been to be honest.  I set up phone reminders all the time (as I seldom ever look at the calendar) 



My last phone could remind me only when the phone was turned on. One cool function of my current phone is that the alarm will go off – even if the phone has not been turned on. Sometimes I have forgotten to switch the a.m. and p.m. to where it really needs to be, and have sometimes had my alarm go off when I am sleeping. I still have to have it in earshot to make it work in addition to having the right time.

Though I had returned to Utah physical, it took me a while for my mind to catch up – or perhaps it is in Oregon still. I had totally spaced calling my friend (I referred to her as Kelly in an earlier post) and contacted her after the fact with an apology (I had fallen asleep and had my alarm on pm so got my notice AFTER the fact)


Roland said he thought the banquet was on Friday – or at least I thought that’s what he said.  We arrived to the banquet 22 – 24 hours ahead of everybody else.  Parking lot was empty.  We had already arranged for a sitter and so decided to take advantage of it and went out to dinner anyway (just not at the stake center as we had planned)

Yesterday my alarm went off about two hours before Randy and Carrie arrived.  I couldn’t figure out why I had set it up for so early

I don’t know why I somehow got it into my head that the 2:30 play started at 4:00 and so we did not even leave the house until 2:30.  We took Jenna to Sunny’s house and then went on our way to the theatre and wondered why we had to park out in the outskirts when we had given ourselves plenty of time.

When we got to the theatre we had learned that we had missed an hour of the play – rather than go in late, we were told that we could return on Wednesday if we would rather.  I liked that option.  I think so did they.  I think they had given our table away and apologized.  It wasn’t their fault.  They didn’t have to accommodate us.  I’m the one who had made the mistake.

  
We couldn’t return for Jenna.  She had been looking forward to her play-date with Sunny even more than the rest of us had been looking forward to the play.  Randy suggested that we check out the aquarium and so we spent our double date at the aquarium for two hours – until they closed.  


 

By then my mind had figured out why my alarm had gone off so early and remembered the first time I heard the announcement for the “golden banquet” and remembered thinking that we would have returned from our date by then. 

The aquarium was fun.  Spontaneous.  Crowded.  We didn’t have to have a reservation.  Perhaps that’s where we’ll take Biff and Jeanie – if Jeanie is up to it.



 

We will return to the theater on Wednesday for a second date with Carrie and Randy.  This time we will be taking Jenna.  It will be easier than to try to find a sitter that late in the night.  Plus I would like her to see it.  She will just have to be exhausted when she returns to school on Thursday.

Monday, November 10, 2014

That’s Pretty Good for 42 years


         I notice as I age, parts of me don’t seem willing to move as well and my balance seems to be thrown off.  Actually has been for quite some time.  Sometimes it’s like when you have your arms spread out to either side from your shoulders and you lift one foot while trying to close your eyes.  Go ahead and try it.  I’ve not met anyone yet that can make it to a full minute.

Two years ago I had an MRI as I thought I’d been having stroke related symptoms.  Nothing was found.  But today I keep dad’s walker quite near the bed and have used it at night just to balance myself while getting up.  I have not yet used it to assist my walking.

As of now I don’t feel any different as far as balance goes. I do seem to be experiencing a little more pain in different places – like just behind my left knee – when I twisted it while exiting a bus.  The pain comes and goes. 

The other day Jenna was balancing on the wall and got off when she realized it led to a dead end.  I jokingly told her that I had expected her to leap from one wall to the next.

“Do you want me to?” she asked.

“No,” I panicked hoping she wouldn’t try.  If she missed, she would have gotten hurt. 

So with the next set of walls she said, “Look mom.  I’m leaping” and stepped down – which wasn’t a leap.

We crossed a set of tracks and I tried to demonstrate to her what a leap looks like.  Came out more like a Bernstein Bear teachable moment, as I lost balance and crashed to the ground – feeling pain on scraped knees and forehead.  I felt blessed that I wasn’t bleeding from the ungraceful land.

Tears rolled down my cheeks because I hurt.  I was foolish to try something I hadn’t attempted for several years. Jenna did her best to cheer me up – which was actually not cheering me, but annoyed me the more she tried to cheer me.  She sounded like a broken record.

The next day she asked if I was okay.  My knees were tender still.  She didn’t want to offend me by having me relive the moment I tried to leap but lost my balance.  She said my fall looked rather cool – like I had attempted an awesome ninja roll.  Really?  That’s what it looked like?  It certainly did not feel that way.

Saturday Roland said that he would take her skating.  He said he would skate with her.  Maybe we could do it for family home evening on Monday – tonight.  And so after dinner, we went to Hollywood Connections and Roland purchased wristbands for him and Jenna.  Both had invited me to skate, but after my ungraceful leap/graceful fall, I was not about to add wheels to my already unbalanced frame.
Jenna uses the walker as she can’t seem to get the hang of gliding.  She looks like she does when she is riding her scooter.  Using her left leg to move her around.  
Roland started out hugging the walls.  He fell his second time around.  I told him to move his feet outward instead of in front.   He got pretty good and went around just a bit faster and away from the walls.  It was a lot of work for his body.  Not bad for an out-of-shape and over sixty-year old.  I don’t know how many times he went around.  I would guess at least ten.  He said he hadn’t been on roller skates since 1972.  Holy Cow!  He was 19 and I was still in elementary school!

 I had fun watching them. My legs hurt as though I had been out there with them.

Roland thinks he’s going to be sore tomorrow.  He knows he needs the exercise.  I exercise with Jenna everyday when I walk her to and from school.  And the wheels we use are on the bus and not on our feet.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Walking in Heaven


I don’t know when mom became an avid walker or how many years she and Pam Sanders had walked together practically every weekday morning.  I know that Corey was still in high school and driving because many times mom and Pam would end their walk at the high school and take the car.

            Once, as they were leaving the parking lot, a security officer from the high school pulled them over to see their ID – wondering why the car was being driven off the high school grounds during school hours.  I guess he figured out that they weren’t high school students. They laughed about the experience of being pulled over and stopped by a diner on their way home. 

            The girl behind the counter started to ring up their order.  I don’t know what they ordered, but evidently it was available at a senior price.  Neither one of them were of age at the time, but took the discount as they had been offended that they had gone from high school teenagers to senior citizens in the matter of only a few minutes.

            They didn’t always do the four miles.  Some days they would only do two.  Mom was in really great shape physically and sorely missed her walks when she had broken her bones one year and her leg was in a cast.

            I didn’t pay much attention to when mom and Pam got back into their routine or when they had stopped walking due to Pam’s ailing health – which seemed to come and go but lingered more as the years passed.

            Pam volunteered to assist with my wedding and worked in the kitchen and fixed plates for any guest who happened to the open house. 

            She and Jenna became fast friends when Jenna was two and three years old.  I remember giving her a picture of Jenna and she was thrilled. 

            As Jenna got older, Pam’s health deteriorated. I did not see much of hear or even hear much for that matter.  My own mom had her good days and bad days after she’d been diagnosed with dementia.  Pam seemed to have disappeared from her mind along with so many others she had known 40 – 50 years.  I stopped by a few times just to see how Pam was doing, but I never did see her again.  Her health had gotten worse.

            Today I heard that she had passed.  I don’t have the details.  I am hoping that I will be able to attend her funeral.  That makes how many that I’ve gone to in less than a year? 

            Corey posted a thought to facebook that perhaps the two of them are taking a walk right now.  What a nice thought.
 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dilemma: Where do I start?



Today’s visit has been quite the interesting and somewhat traumatizing.  No easy way to explain it.  I have made mention of my great Aunt Gertrude in a couple of my posts – but I don’t know that I went into detail about the “great” part.

Aunt Trudy is the youngest of four children.  Three brothers: Harold, Earl and Ted.  My paternal grandfather is Earl.  He fathered three children, my dad, my Uncle Ross and my Aunt Alice.  Each child has four children – many of whom are close to Aunt Trudy and may have more knowledge of the intimate details of her life than I.

Harold had one son who in turn had four children.  It is through this line that Aunt Trudy would like to handle her affairs.  But I don’t know.  She was talking to me through medication – sounding so much more confused than mom ever has.

Uncle Ross and family had invited Aunt Trudy and Uncle Ted to an Easter Brunch.  It was during the Easter festivities when Aunt Trudy fell and was taken to the hospital.  Uncle Ross checked her in and she was treated for a hip injury and now needs rehab.  They need an answer now (well, a couple of hours ago is when the therapist said it was crucial to pick out a facility as they would like to move her there tomorrow.)

Aunt Trudy is in no position to make the decision herself as she is on very strong pain killers that seem to be removing more from her mind than her pain.  Mom, of course, has dementia and can’t even make decisions for herself – let alone somebody else.  And so I look through her list of choices and make a few suggestions but as I don’t know the pros or cons or the financial aspect of things or Aunt Trudy’s medical background  I’m certainly not in a position to make that kind of decision.

Man Confused Sad Clip ArtI know Uncle Ross’s phone number – but it escapes me as I start to dial the numbers.  I KNOW his number.  What is it?  I dial his daughter, Michelle, as hers is the only number I have programmed into my phone.  And she calls Uncle Ross and says that he and Uncle Ted will be there to visit at 5:00 today.  But that’s too late for the therapist.  She needs to find a rehab right now to make sure there’s space available.  I am at a loss.

As I’m talking to Michelle over the phone, Aunt Trudy is telling me to be sure to contact Harold’s family -   I can try (try being the operative word) to contact them when I get home.  I have to look them up first and see what options I have – perhaps facebook is not the best way, but dex is not bringing up the second cousin by her husband’s name.  I can’t seem to get a hold of her dad.  He may be a better source as he has had to go through all of this with his own mom.  But he is getting up there in years.  I don’t know if he is in the right frame of mind to relay all of the needed information.  But I don’t know that Uncle Ted is either.  But he probably does have a better handle on her health status than anyone.

Anyway, I just found it awkward, interesting, and terrifying at the same time to be a contact.  I added Ross and Michelle to the list and gave them the name of my second cousin whose number I don’t have. 

The therapist gave me the impression that she may be in rehab permanently and may never return to the house where she’s lived practically all of her life (if not all her life) just like mom.  Only her mind will be there when the drugs have worn off.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could move her and mom in together?  Down the road I mean – when rehab isn’t necessary but assisted living is. 

Poor Aunt Trudy.  I feel so bad. 


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Getting Old Sucks Big Time



          There are some who age gracefully – some whose minds and bodies appear to be so much younger that many are surprised to learn that they are actually older than they appear.  And then there are those who seemed robbed of their minds and or bodies long before their prime and often give the illusion that they are much older.  And then there are those who don’t appear to be that old but their minds seem younger than their bodies – much younger.  How did Corey put it?  Elderly children.

  Leon Goodman described Alzheimer’s in this way:   Her life is being chomped away from present to past by a voracious PacMan which cannot be stopped. My mom does not have Alzheimer’s, but I think the comparison here is just as accurate.  Only it’s not so much from present to past as it is just a very different time frame.  A time frame real to her but in an imaginary zone from the average view.

          As we age there are many among us who lose strength that perhaps many of us have taken for granted.  For example, having the ability to stand up and move from the bed to the toilet without losing our balance or the cold that seems to last longer with each passing year because somewhere along the line our bodies have slowed down and don’t seem to have the same ability for fighting off infection.

          I’m only 50.  I think I will die young.  Sometimes it feels that way.  Some days when my head is clouded and I’m burdened with physical pain, I would just assume die.  When my body and spirit separate, I won’t have to experience the physical pain anymore.  But I'm told I’ll be taking my emotions with me.  Hope that umberellas are provided.

        On January 31st I wrote this post about my desire to ease into another routine – or attempting to rather.  I posted entirely too soon.  I have not made a routine for myself.  I have not put in any volunteer hours at either the cannery or the school.  I haven’t been to the temple.  Nor have I been out to see my mom.

          I’ve been nursing my cold and now Jenna.  She would rather be in school.  So would I.  I’d like to be able to sleep through the night again.  I would love to feel good again.  I would love for all of my household and other family and friends to all feel better and stay better.  I would love to get back on schedule – like I was when Jenna was in first grade.

          Actually, we are both feeling better.  But I am still in a fog.  Returned to the doctors for an ear flushing.  And there was a lot that came out.  But not all of it.  My hearing is exactly where it was two weeks ago.  I am so sick of being sick!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It's Been A Tough Week




          A week ago yesterday mom
was discharged from the hospital
A week ago yesterday I
drove her home – her actual house. 
She wanted me to take her
to the one in her mind.

A week ago yesterday I drove
her to my house where we waited
for Nate (my nephew) to come
get her and take her
to her real home. 

A week ago she was
still distorted and not
satisfied with where she was.

A week ago today my
brother Patrick and his son-in-law
Nate moved some of mom’s furniture. 
A week ago today my sister-in-law
Sunny and our friend Becky
helped pack clothes.

A week ago today
unbeknownst to my mom,
she spent her last day
in the house where she started
a new life with dad and raised all
four of her children.

A week ago today my
sister Kayla took my mom
to the doctor. 
A week ago today, Patrick and
Sunny and their daughter Ellen
rearranged mom’s furniture and
decorated her walls.  

A week ago today Kayla drove mom
from the doctor’s office to what
appears to be her permanent home. 
A week ago today (well tonight) mom
spent her first night in
the assisted living community.

A week ago tomorrow my
brother Corey arrived at Salt Lake airport.
A week ago tomorrow Sunny picked
him up from the airport and
drove him to the house where
he had been raised. 

A week ago tomorrow my
mother received visits from each
of her kids and some
of the grandchildren.
A week ago today mom expressed
to each of us that she didn’t/doesn’t
want to stay and for her desire for
each of us to take her home.

There are photos taped around
the mirror. Mom had taped them
there herself.  They are her photos. She
has fond memories of each one –
perhaps some more than others.  Some
of them have been removed. She has
taken them off the mirror and put
them into her purse so that she will
have them when she gets to leave –
and return to the house that exists in
her mind but doesn’t
have an address for.  

Yesterday Corey cancelled his
flight and rented a truck

Today he'll pick up the truck and
fill it with things  that are his as
well as my moms.

Tomorrow he will drive
back to Las Vegas

                                      kfralc

Monday, October 15, 2012

Don’t Yell at Aunt Gertrude


         Somebody had suggested that someone take a mom for a drive to look at the fall.  Knowing my own vehicle wasn’t going to make it up the canyon (it actually was too sluggish to get near the base) I chose an alternate, perhaps a more scenic route and asked if she would like to visit my 91 year old great-aunt. 
          Aunt Trudy has ALWAYS been active.  Over the years she has become hard of hearing, but she is still sharp as ever with brand new driver’s license in hand.  She was so excited to see my mom and me (as it has been a while) and we visited just briefly.

          “Well, it was so good to see you,” my mom kept on saying – as though we’d be leaving fairly soon.  What was her problem?

          Aunt Trudy would ask a question which mom would answer – but in her quiet voice and then I would loudly repeat it for Aunt Trudy.  Mom excused herself again.  “Well, I need to get back home.”

          “What do you need to get home for?” I asked.

          “I just need to go home!” she yelled.

          “I guess our visit is over,” I said to Aunt Trudy, while trying my hardest to use an apologetic tone and expression.

          It hadn’t dawned on me until almost three hours later that my voice raising or yelling was the cause of what was bothering mom.  Corey confirmed that when he said she didn’t like loud noises.  That would explain the tension between her and Jenna – though all of us have complained that Jenna’s volume really can get too loud.  Our level of tolerance seems to be more civil than my mom’s. She gets frailer with each passing day.

          Daddy was frail before he left this earth.  But he still had his mind.  Mom’s physical condition is okay, but her mind is not.  That’s a lot harder, I think.  On us anyway.  I think it’s hard on her – but not the same way that physical pain is. Soon she’ll forget that there was any emotional pain.  She’ll resort back to a place where we just won’t be able to find her.  Often she already thinks that I grew up with her in San Francisco and is always surprised when she asks me and I tell her that I have never lived in San Francisco, only visited.
          I need to visit Aunt Trudy again – but without mom or with mom on one side of the room and me on the other.  I think I ought to invite Kayla and her two to come with me.  I don’t know that Aunt Trudy has ever seen Garrett.