Used to be my Mom loved her daily shower and even when she moved into assisted living and then an adult family home, a frequent shower was a great gift. Not so anymore. She's terrified of the entire prospect and although she doesn't obsess about the upcoming event (she can't remember that it's bath day), after she's finished and dressed for bed, I always hear from her and we go over the same misery each week.
The bath scares her I guess. She may feel vulnerable. She may feel like she'll fall or hurt herself. Who knows for sure?
Dad was the one who called me at straight up 7 PM tonight saying, "Your Mom is getting a bath right now. She's pretty upset. I hear her calling for me at the top of her voice. I can't do much to help her. Would you call her when she's done?"
"Sure Dad", I said. "I'll give her a call in a bit."
I don't look forward to this phone call. She'll likely be sobbing into the phone and all I can do is listen. There is nothing I can say to ease her terror.
Tomorrow she'll never even mention her experience with the bath, the nightmare buried somewhere in her subconscious. I had to remind Dad of that tonight. "Dad, by tomorrow it'll be distant memory."
"You're right.", he replied.
But he and I continue our pattern of concern, getting upset about what happens with great predictability every single Friday evening. When the summer sky is brilliant blue and the weather beckons me outside, I'm overcome with sadness when I ought to choose something else, anything else. But I can't and I don't. Not now.
Guess, I'll end this dismal post and pick up the phone. To listen. To assuage. To comfort. Even when all will be forgotten until the next Friday evening rolls around and we go over it all again.
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."The last line of The Great Gatsby somehow seems right just about now.