I got to sit with Mama early this morning and I just let her sleep as long as she’d like. She finally got up around 8:30 and moseyed around the house not even realizing I was there. I watch her shuffle her little feet from her couch she likes to sleep on to Daddy’s room first, the usual routine, to see if he was there. When he wasn’t, she shuffled to the kitchen window looking out into the garage to see if his truck was there. Then she looked for a snack in a few drawers and cabinets and then shuffled right past me to the back door looking out to the driveway to see if anyone was there, probably looking for Daddy’s truck. Finally, as if she just realized she was alone, she turned around and saw me and just smiled. She sat down in Daddy’s chair and I asked her several times if she wanted to put on her clothes or go get breakfast and she never answered me. It was as if the fog from being asleep had to clear or couldn’t clear perhaps. She kept staring at me occasionally smiling. Finally, I was able to convince her to let’s put her clothes on and get ready for the day. Off to the bathroom we go.
I got Mama dressed and as is always the custom, she then heads to the bathroom mirror to get pretty:) Until a few weeks ago, even in the throes of the disease, we could watch her sort of brush her teeth, which she can’t do anymore – she’s tried brushing them with everything from deodorant to hand soap. We could watch her put on her makeup – she now puts toothpaste where blush used to go. And then she’d brush her hair. Today, she stands there looking in the mirror not knowing what to do, waiting, and I wonder if she sees herself or is she looking at a stranger.
Anyway, we don’t do makeup anymore, that faded completely away a few weeks ago. She’d strangle me for this but I think she looks prettier without it. But while standing at the mirror, I pulled out her hairbrush… and the tears came. So hard to type this really. I had a huge flashback to being in elementary school. Mama was working full-time, which she did for my entire life until she retired. She was always running around like a mad woman in the mornings, imagine that, and getting me ready for school in the midst. This was quite the chore primarily because of my hair! Does anyone else remember Rosanna Rosanna Danna played by Gilda Radner on Saturday Night Live? Well, that was me, or so I felt, a head full of bushy brown hair. And poor Mama, she would be standing there in her white slip… I can still remember that so well…. and she’d be almost panting, running behind, and trying to get that brush through my hair, pulling and tugging, trying to put little rubber bands in it to make pigtails, and me screaming and crying the entire time. This was our morning ritual. Poor Mama.
Today, I stood and brushed Mama’s thick head of hair, that beautiful gray thick head of hair, the hair she used to keep “frosted” and I would beg her to stop. She finally did, not by her own choice, and it’s beautiful, just like her. And I didn’t mind brushing it one little bit; after all, how many times did she do that for me… maybe with me screaming:) but she did it because she’s my Mama. And I’ll do it for her because she’s my Mama.