I am my mother afterall!
The Saturday before Mother's Day, I drove to Columbus to visit my mom. I'd waited until Friday to call and tell her I was coming. Had I called earlier in the week, she would have been watching out the window and pacing, thinking I was arriving on the day we spoke. As it was, I called her when I arrived in town and she was surprised I was there.
Mom has dementia and it's become difficult to carry on a conversation with her. She will stop mid-sentence, as she did Saturday, and start talking about an unrelated topic. She's funny though. Her 90-year-old sister resides in a nursing home and Mom was trying to tell me about that situation. She kept saying, "She has, you know, that disease where people can't remember things. Now what's the name of that? You know, when people forget things all the time?" I asked if she meant "dementia" and she said, "Yes! That's what she has". Mom proceded to name a few others she thought had it too. Then said, "I don't think I have it though". Well I can admit I have some memory problems. I sometimes can't recall where I put my shoes, when I last took my allergy medications, or what I did with my glasses, book, pattern, etc. I sometimes search for words too - words that are common and often used.
Mom wanted me to re-thread her sewing machine, which I was happy to do, but when I looked at the cabinet, it was covered with little piles of this and that - a stack of small mail order booklets Mom can't bear to pitch, snippets of fabric leftovers from her lap robe projects, a procelain snowman she placed there at Christmas time, and a Christmas card box full of little pieces of paper. She took one look at the piles and said, "Let's let this go for another day". Hmmm, did I detect the procrastination gene at work? I know I have it and now I know who to blame. I told her I could work around the stacks. I re-threaded the sewing machine but as I was doing so, she left the room. How will she remember how to do it? She won't.
As for the little piles of stuff on her sewing machine cabinet - I don't have quite as many stacks as she, but I do have them. Mine are sewing related, as if that matters. When my sister came in, I took her to Mom's sewing area and said, "See where we get it?" She laughed and nodded in agreement. I also have a stack of mail on my kitchen counter, a basket full of this-and-that on top of my portable dishwasher (if it's in a basket, it's organized, right?), and a stack of paper sitting here in front of me at this desk. I can't be critical of Mom's clutter when I have so much of my own. Like mother - like daughter.
Mom asked me to open some plastic bins she stores under the sewing machine cabinet. When I saw what was in them I cringed. They were filled to the brim with flannel fabric "scraps", remnants from lap robe projects. Some were over a yard long and I realized she hadn't been using the fabric to full advantage. I buy flannel for her when I find it on sale and had, in fact, taken her three huge bags full of new flannel - sorted and matched.
I think making lap robes has begun to overwhelm her but she can't admit it. She wanted me to take all those scraps home. Instead, I suggested she and I go through them, match the fabrics we could, and make doll blankets or kitty cozies from them. She thought it was a good idea so that's how we spent most of the afternoon. She was happy I was giving her my time and I was thrilled to not be dragging home more fabric. I have quite enough of my own to use. I suggested she cut out squares and patch together some lap robes that don't have any particular pattern, in scrap quilt fashion. She didn't want to do that. I also inherited my mother's stubborn gene - received some of that from Dad too.
I received a glimpse into what my future might hold. I'll be a stubborn old crazy cat lady who has bins full of unused fabric, a sewing machine cabinet piled high with things I can't bear to get rid of, and I'll be thinking everybody has memory problems except me. Now let's see, where did I put my glasses?