Saturday, August 1, 2009

leading Mom to her bed

I sat with Mom for a while this evening, watching some Korean programs with her. Mom no longer truly understands what she's seeing, but she responds to the emotional tenor of the images flashing across the screen. If something startling occurs, Mom jumps. If a cute kid appears on screen, Mom might go, "Aww." Sometimes, it seems that she does pick up certain recurrent aspects of a storyline. For example, if I were to ask her why a certain man and woman in a soap opera are having an argument, Mom might say, "He's cheating on her." She would know this because the subject of cheating probably came up repeatedly whenever the couple argued. So occasionally, it seems that Mom understands, on some level, what she's watching.

But for the most part, Mom wouldn't be able to tell anyone what a story was about-- not in any detail. She barely speaks in full sentences as it is. Were I to ask her to relate something that just happened on TV, she wouldn't be able to, not merely because of her problem speaking, but because she often can't remember. I saw this earlier this evening. Dad asked Mom where I had driven her, and she told us both that she couldn't recall her outing with me. That didn't faze me; I had half-expected her to make such a reply. Even during our outing, she couldn't remember that David and Sean had attended Woodley Hills Elementary School.

But tonight, when Mom had finished watching her usual shows, I turned off the TV and asked her, "So! Are you ready to go?"

Mom nodded, then looked at me and asked in a child's voice, "Where are we going?"

I almost cried then. I managed to stand in front of Mom, take her hands, and count out our usual, "One... two... three!"-- that's what we do when asking her to stand up-- without allowing my voice to tremble. I gave Mom my usual hug, holding her in that embrace a few seconds longer than normal. She hugged me back, one frail, tiny hand patting my massive ribcage. As sometimes happens, I found myself wondering who was comforting whom.

And then I led her to her bedroom, to sleep.

Another day with Mom that I won't get back.



Nomad said...

It's getting harder and harder for me, an outsider, to read these entries so I can only imagine what you must be going through, Kevin. Hang in there, stay strong and cherish every second of every minute.

Kevin Kim said...

There's so much going on that I don't write about here. So much.


Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Beautiful entry, Kevin, just beautiful.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

Nomad said...

I think you've found a balance between maintaining family privacy while keeping us informed of what's going on, and at the same time you have an outlet to express some of what you and your family are feeling and going through. One thing that strikes me is how blessed you all are with family and the numerous friends that are showing their support.

Kevin Kim said...




We're blessed for sure.


Maven said...

A tear came to the eye when I read this.

Much empathy to you.