Monday, October 29, 2007

Anne's Visit

Well, Anne has at last made her way to Austin again to see Mom. I say at last because I know she'd have come sooner but she's been quite ill , and it is only now that she's got the strength to travel.

I spoke to her on the phone in the morning and arrived at home in mid-afternoon to find her sitting on the couch, talking with Valery. She looks good, though still a bit frail from her now two-month ordeal. She said she lost nearly 25 pounds, which, for someone who only began with 125, represents a considerable portion of her body mass.

Nonetheless, she remains upbeat and was most delightful on seeing Lynda in her new space. Even though she didn't open her eyes for long, I saw Mom look at her lovingly. She smiled at Anne's presence, reminding me of how things used to be not so very long ago.

With such small, visible playful gestures and a dozen more unseen, at the least, I feel, Mom is aware of our love and care. She definitely appreciates seeing Anne. After all, she only asked about her every day for the last two weeks! They have a special bond, formed, not just in this illness, but as all mothers and daughters, over time and through many changes.

Sadly for Anne, though, during this visit, unlike times past, there isn't a whole lot she can actually do for Mom. Gone are the days of shopping and cleaning and arranging doctor visits and hairdresser appointments, now replaced with long minutes of listening to quiet, measured breathing. We read to her, we talk to her as much as we can and mostly we are simply there for her. It is amazing to me how simple things have become.

So, Anne's here till Wednesday and will likely come again later in the fall. She mentioned bringing Jennifer, which I think would be good for the both of them. Certainly it would be good if Jen were given the opportunity to say goodbye to her Gram. Dan, is, of course, in London, so he will not be likely to see her again, but doubtless he's been thinking of her, especially in light of his own Mom's illness.

For my part, I have reached a level of comfort with the arrangement (especially given Cheryl's tender care)and hope to maintain this sense of calm throughout the days and weeks ahead.

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