I drove up on Friday, had dinner at the retirement home Friday night, and gave and received lots of Mom hugs. Mom actually seems better, more happy and more energetic and just more on top of things than when I was there in March. I tried to talk her into going to lunch with me on Saturday, because she just never gets to leave that building, but she was afraid it would make her too tired and she wanted to be okay on Sunday.
She kept asking questions about where she was. Where exactly is Alpharetta? Is it near Atlanta? Why don't they show it all the time on the weather map on the news? Was there a Walmart nearby? A Walgreens? A Red Lobster? And I finally realized she was trying to get a picture in her head, she'd been in that building nearly constantly and she didn't even know what was around her.
So I took her driving, and we drove down the street and all the way around the big mall nearby, and I pointed out the Target and the Ruby Tuesday and the Chick-Fil-A. We drove past big office buildings with brightly colored flowers planted in front. I assured her that I had checked and there was no IHOP, no Walgreens, and no Red Lobster anywhere close, unfortunately. We came back and I parked across the street and we looked at her retirement home from there, she could see the entrance and the parking lot and the landscaping all around and the McDonald's drive through next door. We picked out where her apartment windows would be around the back.
I showed her a map on my phone of the area, and how Alpharetta is right next to Roswell, so if the weather map on TV shows Roswell she should just assume it'll be the same in Alpharetta.
I don't think that even with her walker she is strong enough to walk very far, so while she could maybe shop in a drug store, going through a mall or even a Target would be too much for her. Next time I go up there I'm going to take her out to lunch with me, though.
Lunch was awful in that way that going to a restaurant on Mother's day is inevitably going to be awful; it was confused and crowded and noisy and we had to wait too long for everything. But still, we were all together. And Mom and I shared an entree, and our salmon and broccoli was pretty delicious.
The best part was just sitting with Mom, reading the paper or watching Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune or America's Funniest Home Videos (it's way better with the sound off and the closed-captioning on).
Going back to work today was crap, but I'll get through the backlog of work, and it was worth it. I'm determined to go back in a couple of months.