Small pleasures from an ever so still body
By Lori La Bey of Senior Lifestyle Trends
I saw my Mother briefly a week ago prior to leaving on a trip. I would be gone for a week. On the day I visited she was in bed sleeping. I tried to connect with her but it was difficult. She was tired and she just wanted to rest. So, I found myself crawling in bed with her once again to snuggle. I’m not sure at this point who gets more comfort from our cuddling me or her, but I guess it really doesn’t matter. It’s all about our connection and feeling close to one another. As I curled up next to her I gently massaged her temples and rubbed her chest lightly like she used to do to me when I was ill as a small child. As I did this, Mom cooed like a baby and melted my heart once again. It is the small pleasures I notice in that ever so still body that keeps drawing me back to her.
Today I returned from my trip and swung by to see Mom. She was in the dining room taking a cat nap between dinner and the evening snack. I greeted her with a warm hello, took her hand gently in mine, and asked her to “Pucker up.” That’s our code to kiss. I’ve used this technique with my Mom for many years now. I’ve found it helpful to have a routine, use the same words and tone to develop a code between the two of us. It seems to help our communication by having patterns which instill triggers for routines and tasks. Please realize this is not something I did in the beginning, thirty years ago when she stated having problems, but something that just seemed appropriate as she went back in time. Typically Mom would giggle and then automatically pucker her lips as I swoop in for my kiss.
Today was different. She opened her mouth and stuck her tongue out. I joked I didn’t want a French kiss. I asked her again, “Pucker up Mom I’m coming in for a kiss.” Once again she opened her mouth and stuck out her tongue. This time she wiggled her tongue a bit. It made me giggle and I thought it best to just sneak in and grab a kiss. When I did this she seemed surprised. I told her thanks for the kiss and asked her if she wanted to pucker up for another one. She then smiled and puckered her lips for me. I smiled and bent down and gave her another kiss and hug. It’s funny how reactions change day to day, moment from moment with this disease. I’ve found it best to go with the flow and use humor. No matter what happens, you have to admit this disease is not boring or routine. It’s amazingly interesting especially when you look for the small signs within the changes.