Living

Mondays with Mom: Clara, Laverne, and Jean

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“This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Clara says the verse and sings the song every morning she’s with Mom. She can usually get Mom to sing along. “It’s a beautiful day,“ she says. “I hope you have a beautiful day!” What a blessing to start a day like that! One of my favorite things about Clara’s caregiving is how she works to engage Mom every chance she gets.

Clara has been part of our caregiving team for just over a year. She stays overnight with Mom most every Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. I stay Wednesday through Friday and we alternate Saturday nights. All night long she stays right beside Mom in the other recliner. When she comes in at 8 PM, she assists with the bedtime routine and then usually engages Mom in watching a video or listening to music.

Mom loves Clara. Occasionally, Mom’s quite suspicious of me when I come to see her after an absence of a day, but to Clara, Mom just says, “Well, hello friend!” Mom uses her most friendly and welcoming voice to greet most everyone, but you can tell that she’s quite smitten with Clara.

Laverne, too, joined our caregiving team early last summer. Like Clara, she is Mom’s favorite. Laverne spends four days a week with Mom. I think she does a lot of caregiving for Daddy, too. She often brings food for them or she brings ingredients to cook while she’s at the house. She’s a great cook so we don’t mind! Often I get to benefit from leftovers, too.

Laverne is a caregiver for her sister and brother-in-law on Sundays. She goes over to their nursing home and makes sure they are safe and well. She also assists her son with his catering business. She’s so busy, but she always has time to check in with Mom. Dad says he believes Laverne would do anything for Mom.

Jean has been a part of the caregiving team for many years. She has good memories of Mom being mobile and active. We often reminisce about the different stages Mom has been through. Jean has had some shoulder issues this past year which ended in surgery and therapy, but she’s been faithful to do all she can do for Mom whenever we call. Although she can’t do any lifting, it’s wonderful to listen to her visit with Mom and read scripture and sing songs. Mom calls her “my dear friend,” even though she can’t remember Jean’s name.

It was tough at first to convince Dad that we needed help with Mom. There’s a vulnerability to admitting you can’t do it alone. Once the decision is made, there are prayers and interviews. We were so blessed with fantastic caregivers. We are grateful!

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