August 25, 2020

I’m going to have to summarize the last few days/weeks. I’ve been preoccupied, and, well, any development of her disease is fairly mundane.
We got a new electrical panel, all the outlets were replaced, and we got smoke detectors– plus a lot of other stuff. The electricians spent two five-hour days here. The panel and outlets were something like 60 years old. It was time for an update. And though I’d never tell mom this, it was a good project to be done now for when I sell the house later. This is a preamble to getting a new hot water heater and furnace, with central AC added. Finally. We have window units in our bedrooms and a wall unit in the family room, and I’m not complaining about those because those are better than nothing, but we’re finally getting whole-house air conditioning, and if nothing else, it will be quieter! She’ll no doubt want the AC set on 85 degrees, but at least I won’t have to deal with the noise of individual AC units. Also, we recently found out the cold water tap in the shower is leaking, including leaking behind the insert. We’ll eventually get a new shower insert because there’s no way to repair the leak without taking out the insert. She needs a better way into the shower than stepping over a tub wall.
Cognitively, mom seems on the decline. Is it because of all the new information and service people in and out of here? Maybe. Or this is just natural cognitive decline.
The other day– last week?– the first thing she said to me one morning was, “Now, my grandchildren are who? Who are my grandchildren?”
Yeah. Who forgets their grandchildren?
Said grandchildren (and their parents) are visiting soon, so it’s been on her mind. She said for weeks that she didn’t know they were planning to visit. Now that she knows they’re coming she’s moved onto not knowing the dates, who is coming, why they’re coming, and how long they’re staying. It’s incredibly sad. They’re coming because they miss her and want to see her, but I can’t convince her of that. (If I’m to be honest, in my dark moments I wonder why, after not visiting for several years, they’ve decided on a pandemic year to visit. I try to let that go. If I have to die of COVID so that mom can see her daughter and grandsons then so be it. I don’t want to die, but there are lesser reasons for getting the disease.)
Anyway, the last weeks have been chock full of cleaning, moving furniture, and all around prepping for a major electric overhaul of this house. We have a new security light and I’m very happy about that. In fact, I’m very happy about all the work done this week. I hope mom lives another 20 years so she can reap the rewards of these very expensive upgrades. Mostly though, I wish she remembered the upgrades. We discussed it all. I got her approval to do it all. I discussed the options when we had all the estimates in. I kept her informed every step of the way. And yet, she remembers nothing. None of it. “You had them do that? Oh you are so smart.” “You are so good at getting this arranged. How did you know we needed that?””Look at that, a new smoke detector. Did you know they were going to do that?” “Is that a new outlet? How did they know we needed that?” I discussed it all with her. Every step of the way. And she remembers none of it.
So that’s it. Her memory has shrunk to seconds-long, but she remains happy and content with her confusion. I see her get frustrated sometimes and wonder if this is a harbinger of things to come, but mostly I take things day by day and just try to survive.
We’re good. We’re great, in fact. So many people suffer so much more than we. We, in fact, don’t suffer at all compared to too many other people. We’re fine. And better, in one way at least, because now our electrical system in the house meets 2020 standards. Can’t argue with that.

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