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I cut up tomato pieces in a bowl for us to share, with 2 forks. When I carried it from the kitchen, she came to the couch without her fork. I sent her back for it. She came back empty-handed. I sent her back again for the fork. She came back with 2 yellow squash. They were on the counter next to her fork. Giving up.........
This morning, she gave me another smile. She had drunk half a glass of juice earlier, and the clear plastic "glass" was sitting on a table by the couch. I sensed a movement and looked over. She was holding the empty glass upright, and "drinking" out of the bottom. When she was finished, I thanked her and we smiled at each other.
Edna winds her hands and fingers together often, sort of wringing her hands, or using her fingers as "worry beads". I'll try to give her other things, but she usually seems to prefer the attached "toys".
Edna has started picking up and redepositing little invisible-to-me objects. She will "pick them up" off the floor, or off a table or other surface. Usually she looks for a trash can to put them in. Sometimes she "hands" them to me. I'll throw them away for her; what else can I do? (Sometimes I almost think I can see something.) This evening in the kitchen, as I was giving her pills (crushed and mixed in apple sauce), she rubbed her hand around on top of the stove, between the burners. She "picked" something up, then put her fingers to her mouth and "ate" it. I winced. She's about to get me convinced.
Last Edited on: 5/31/11 7:46 AM ET - Total times edited: 4
We're sitting at home. (This afternoon, Edna has not known who I am, and is VERY skeptical when I say I am her sister.)
She asks: "How far away are we from here?"
Just now, she asked: "is this our house?" [[Yes.....]] It looks like our house.
Earlier today, leaving church. We're in my car. She looks at a green car nearby and asks: "is that your car?"
=====at least she picked out a green car, which is the color of mine. She often asks me about red cars. I think she wants mine to be red.
Last Edited on: 5/31/11 7:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Edna just now asked me, out of the clear blue, "Will we live to be happy?"
I told her, "I think so." (What else could I say?)
"Sometimes I think we may make it!"
We had been talking of the fact we lived toghter, and how that was a pretty good thing, that we can help each other, and isn't it a good thing that we get along pretty well with each other.
A little while earlier, she did a once-in-a-lifetime thing, TWICE. She put down her fork after eating. Unfortunately, she laid the fork down tines first, with the tines right under the edge of her glass. When the handle went down, the tines went up, and of course the glass tipped. We both grabbed for it, and she caught it. No spills.
Maybe 3 minutes later, she did the exact same thing again. Luckily the glass was empty.
Last Edited on: 5/31/11 7:50 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Just had another question that I HAD to document here.
She just climbed into bed, trying to go to sleep.
I'm in the bathroom, clipping and filing a couple of jaggies from my fingernails.
"What are you killing in there?"
"i'm clipping my fingernails."
"Yours or mine?"
Q: Where are Mother and Daddy?
They are in Heaven.
Q: When was the last time you saw Mother?
In July, before she went to Heaven in September. [[This was in 2000]]
Q: Can we see them? Can we talk with them?
Only in our hearts.
Q: Do they need anything to eat? Do they eat?
In Heaven, they are with God, and He gives them everything they need.
Later, she asked about the house our parents owned.
Q: Will they come back to it?
No, they don't need anything on earth anymore.
Q: Have you talked with Mother?
Not since she went to Heaven.
Q: How do you know that they went to heaven?
Then before I could answer, she answered for herself== I guess they didn't come back!
Last Edited on: 5/31/11 8:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 7
Looking at some beads I was sorting:
Linda: Aren't those pretty?
Edna: Yes, but you can't eat them.
Note: she's been admiring gemstones and thinking they are candy. I keep saying: Those are ROCKS.
I can tell I'm not going to be able to do beading while she is around. Or at least not involve her in it. Twice now she has admired a bead, and before I could catch her, it was in her mouth. (Of course, a couple of months ago, I saw her carrying around the little cup I measure the cat's food in. She was snacking! !))
Last Edited on: 5/31/11 7:53 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
We have the lower edge of the snowstorm that is hitting the Northeast right now. So it has been snowing nearly all day. Edna realized it a few hours ago, and has been watching off and on. She just now (6:30 pm in February) looked out the window again, and of course did not see anything.
She asked me if I could see anything that was going on now. I told her no, I could not see anything either.
"Maybe they took it away."
Well, it's evening, and we can't see anything after dark.
Last Edited on: 5/31/11 7:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
There are getting to be a few more really surreal conversational exchanges.
We're sitting at home on the living room couch. She's peering bemusedly at my laptop computer.
Q: What's that thing?
A: That's my computer.
Q: Are you going to drive it home?
A: (no answer at all, just dumbfounded)
Last Edited on: 6/12/10 12:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Riding home together last Friday, we'd been having good conversation. At a stop light, Edna commented out of the blue, something like:
"Some of the clothes I'm wearing don't want to go home along with me."
This was another time where I was dumbfounded. I don't recall what I said.
After we got home though, when we went to the bathroom, I saw that her panties were partly pulled down, about halfway down her hips. So maybe her comment was more relevant than I thought.
Edited to add, 4/28/10: She had another one of those "hnhh" questions today, just as we entered our apartment.
She walked to the (overfull) trash can/bag in the kitchen, patted around on it, and said:
"How can you ever sleep on THAT?"
Best I could come up with was, Well, it's lucky that we don't have to sleep on it. We have a bed to sleep on.
Edited to add, 5/17/10:
My sister normally goes 5 days per week to a PACE Day Center. A van/bus picks her up at our home, and returns her in the afternoon. Today, she was saying goodbye to everyone on the bus, as usual. She made some remark about the "woman down there." (We were standing in the aisle of the bus, and the driver's seat is lower, so from our viewpoint the driver almost seems to be sitting at floor level.) I told Edna, That's our bus driver.
"Oh, are you OUR bus driver?"
(She said something else very funny after that, but I waited too long and can't remember it.)
Last Edited on: 5/31/11 7:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
I HAD to remember this one to put it in here.
We just now (7:25 pm EDT) came home from church. Near our apartment complex, I could see we were going to have the setting sun in our eyes for a couple of blocks. I warned her, something like: It's going to be very bright in our eyes for a little bit.
Soon as we got past the trees, she sort of huffed and burst out: "I've tried and tried to get that turned off!!!!"
Dumbfounded again, I said: Turn off the sun?
"Oh. I guess not."
I've been skimming back through my posts here. I notice that I sure have been using the word "dumbfounded" a lot.
Last Edited on: 5/2/10 8:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Edna comes out with remarks sometimes that make it clear her personality is still in there, and flashes of wit shine out through the crevices.
(I hear these, and of course resolve to remember them so I can share them here. But it usually does not happen. The memories flit away.This time we were home and close to the computer.)
Edna is drinking a glass of juice and I am hovering close. (When she gets distracted while drinking, the glass may end up in any direction.)
I made some remark that I don't remember (of course), a little bit smart-alecky.
She swung the glass as if she were going to toss the juice in my face.
Then she "took it back": Oh, I would NEVER really do that. [[I was expecting her to finish with something like: Mother raised me better than that.]]
But no: You're where my money comes from!
[[Not true, of course. She has Social Security, and pays the rent on our apartment.]]
Last Edited on: 5/31/11 7:57 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
No response comes to me anytime soon.
Edna often comments on how my hair is arranged--usually critically.
Yesterday afternoon she studied me for a while, then.....
Edna: "Your hair is upside down."
Edited to add one from today:
Didn't we have another Simon? (the cat)
Last Edited on: 7/8/10 5:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Just want to let the people know, those who have read these comments from my sister Edna, that she is going home to heaven soon. She has spoken very little the last 2 weeks or so. We began Hospice care this last Saturday, and she will not go to the PACE Center again.
She may have gotten in "the last word" though. A few days ago her primary home aide was leaving for the day, and wanted to kiss her goodbye. She told me that Edna clearly said "No."
Thank you, Sandybear, for posting. It reminded me. I had not realized that I did not update.
Edna went home to God and our parents, Louise and Louis, and her grandsons,Cody and Alex, on Thursday morning, April 28.
Her daughter and I had both checked on her early as we woke up. While we were both out of the room for a few minutes, she went away quietly.
For the last few days, she had seemed to be in a deep sleep, moving her legs occasionally. She needed no drugs or other treatments for comfort. When the hospice nurses had checked her, they saw no indication of pain or agitation. One said "She looks supremely comfortable."
Our family gathered, as many as could come, with our friends in Virginia, and celebrated her life on May 7. And it truly was a celebration, a nearly-all-happy time.
Last Edited on: 8/12/11 5:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Since my sister is no longer in this world to be cared for, I am gradually parting with the books I collected to help me with her care.
Some of them I am giving to the PACE Program that my sister attended -- so they can lend these books out to other family caregivers. I'm working to establish an "Edna Palmer Memorial Bookshelf" there.
Have you heard of PACE? It stands for Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. Medicare and Medicaid authorize it as community-based care, and an alternative to nursing homes -- as long as the person has care at home for the evening and night. There are quite a few sites around the nation. It is not just for people with memory or cognitive problems. Most participants are clear of mind, just with physical problems, or a need to be with people during the day. There are many kinds of activities and therapies on site. It's one-stop-shopping for health care -- everything is there on site -- doctors, nurses, pharmacy, physical therapy, speech therapy, etc, etc., -- everything but specialists. They also provide home care aides and transportation to and from the PACE Center.
I was going through a box of old papers and notes, mostly from about 2010, and ran upon notes I must have made from conversations with my sister Edna about our mother.
Edna's Q: Were you alive when Mother died?
Comment from me: You took Mother to church....(Edna cared for our mother, almost entirely alone, for the 10 years after our father died in 1990 until Mother passed in 2000.)
Edna's Q: While she was living?