Mom has a new love. Her name is Emily. Emily came to live with Mom after her 10-year old great-granddaughter visited. Although Mom does not remember her great-grand or how she adored her, mom was thrilled to see her. But, what made the visit extraordinary was the gift that her great-grand brought. The GGD (great-granddaughter) gifted Mom with one of her dolls.
I was not there for the visit and unveiling of the gift, but I watched the video. I admit that the thought of giving Mom a doll recently crossed my mind. In my Google searches and readings on late-stage Alzheimer’s, doll therapy, for some, proves positive. However, there are mixed reviews. The idea came to me because Mom, on occasion, still talks of getting a job. Of course, finding a job for her will never happen. At this late stage and even during the early stages, her wanting a job was merely a want.
My mother’s days are long and lonely. I am with her as much as possible, but cannot be with her around the clock. As trained as the CNA’s are, they cannot do more than check on her. (After all, other residents need tending.) And, because Mom can no longer participate in group activities, she spends most of her day in her room, looking out the window, rummaging through her drawers (I find the disarray with each visit), and maybe glancing at, but not watching, tv. The activity director tries to engage Mom, but she shows no interest. So, Mom’s life limits and holds her bound to a solitary existence.
A day after Emily arrived, I visited. Before I made my way to her room, one of the aides stopped me. She is one of several working on Mom’s hall. She was charming and said that they (the CNA’s) named the new baby Emily. I appreciate that they go above and beyond to help take care of Emily. That same day another aide told me that she got to feed Emily so Mom could eat her dinner. I thanked her with choked words and tear-filled eyes.
She hugged me and said, “You do know that it’s okay, don’t you?”
My tears spilled over, and I said, “I do.”
Today, I am thankful for Emily, and I am grateful because she fills my mother’s world with giggles, kisses, and love. A whole lot of love.
When I think about Mom’s love for Emily, I remember First Corinthians 13:13, which says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Indeed, it is.