The Mummy Update

by Nancy Wurtzel on November 5, 2012

Mummy has moved.  Well, actually my sister and I did all the moving, but my mom told us she was ready and agreed on an assisted living facility in our hometown.

It wasn’t an emergency situation, but we had definitely reached the tipping point.  The bottom line was that it was no longer safe for mom to live by herself in the senior apartment complex that had been her home for five years.

Mom also needs far more help than my sister and I can now provide.  In fact, we had become so immersed in the daily caregiving duties that our lives were perpetually on hold.  Something had to change.

The move was a tremendous amount of work and very emotional — at least for my sister and me.

However, once Mummy had made the decision to move, she never made a backward glance.

Mom didn’t say goodbye to anyone the day she left and she has expressed no interest in going back to visit. Sure, some of that disconnect can be blamed on the the dementia (which has become more pronounced since the move and more on that in a later post), but mostly her behavior is typically Mummy.

My mother has always lived pretty much in the moment.  She doesn’t dwell in the past, pine for those who left this world before her or think too deeply about life.  Soon, she’ll be 92.  Mom has out-lived my dad, all of the relatives of her generation and most of her friends.  She says she doesn’t have any big regrets.

Unsentimental is a perfect adjective to describe Mummy.

On the other hand, mom was always highly social, with a wide circle of friends in our little town where everyone pretty much knows everyone. In her heyday, Mummy used to love a good party.  She enjoyed dancing, gambling at local casinos, shopping trips, cooking, volunteering and playing endless (and I mean endless) games of cards.

Sadly, Mummy’s ability to play cards has pretty much left her.  She knows that on some level — although she still likes to play, making up her own rules as she goes along.

However, she can no longer navigate the card game the ladies played every afternoon at her former living facility.  It was time to pack up her belongings and downsize to a new home, which offers more care and a host of planned activities.

On moving day, my sister drove mom to her new, smaller apartment, while I stayed behind with the mover. Later, my sister told me that Mummy was quiet in the car, but she never looked back, only forward.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Barb @ FL Mom's Blog November 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Nancy, I see that in my residents, when I’m at work. I can empathize with you.

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Kris Pearson November 6, 2012 at 4:31 am

Nancy, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I had to move my mom a couple of years ago. The move was traumatic for both my mom and I. She experienced bouts of dementia initiated by fear. My experience with caregiving my mom prompted me to become a Realtor Senior Advisor and dedicating part of my residential real estate career to assisting seniors and their families in making the transition to a senior living community by providing resources and selling their home.

My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family through this difficult transition.

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Susan November 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Okay, I’m crying.

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Melanie November 5, 2012 at 10:09 am

My thoughts are with you and your family. Although you are being brave, I know this was a difficult step to take. It IS hard when caregiving takes over one’s life. It’s easier said than done, but I hope you can spend some time on yourself in the near future.

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