Last year, we only had a few flakes of snow, and our weather was fairly moderate. When the temps stayed around 50° this winter, I thought we’d have a repeat. No such luck! For the past week, we’ve had highs in the 20s and often hit the single digits, with wind chills even lower. I suffer in such cold weather, and I just want to stay indoors in the warmth. I just can’t rationalize not visiting my mother, though. She gets frailer with each passing month, and her dementia keeps increasing. As long as she still responds when I say, “Hi, Mom,” I’m relieved. Most of the time, she’ll drink the lemonade we bring her, and then she falls asleep again. Sometimes, she’ll stay awake, but her distant gaze lets me know that she’s not totally with us. She’ll even say a few sentences, but usually they make little sense.
The other day, she was facing the patio, where dead leaves were blowing across the concrete. She shook her head and said, “Who’s going to clean up that mess?” I laughed and assured her it wouldn’t be her responsibility, to which she replied, “Well, that’s good. I don’t want to have to do it.” Now that little tidbit made some sense, but there are times when she just goes on about something nonsensical. I tell her about the cold weather and promise that she can stay inside. She feels my hand and shivers, saying, “Now, that’s really cold.” This is about as far as the conversation goes, but even if she dozes off, I still sit there with her. I know I won’t have her here much longer, and I want to have good memories when she’s gone.
That’s why I abide with the cold, even if I’m chilled to the bone. Parking there is also becoming a hassle. They now have a short-term rehabilitation (sub-acute care) section for people leaving the hospital. This means they have visitors daily, and that in turn means fewer parking areas. I’d like to report some of them, though. They use the few handicapped spaces by showing their blue placard. BUT, I’m convinced the card belongs to the person in rehab! These people are younger and able-bodied. Because of that, we have to park in the remote section, and my husband pushes me through the freezing cold wind. NJ has a new bill pending: all h/c placards will be renewed every three years, and you will need documentation in order to continue using it. The person who started the ball rolling was an MS person who was tired of seeing the placard fraud. (See here)
Last night, the snow arrived – not much, only two inches, but it makes it seem even colder. I never go to the home on Saturdays, so I’ll be hunkered down, staying warm. Gradually the weather will get warmer next week, and I’ll begin to thaw. With that trend continuing, I won’t mind stepping outside again. I just wish there were a way of transporting myself directly from the house to the car, and then the car to my mother’s nursing home. Beam me up, Scotty?