Not too long ago Miss Cathy received a telephone call from her sister-in-law telling her that she was coming north from the Carolinas for a visit.
This would be the first time any of her immediate family has come to see her since her husband died fifteen years ago and her Alzheimer’s diagnosis almost three years ago.
Mom was so excited to have ‘company’ that she was bathed, powdered, hair coiffed and anxiously waiting on the living room sofa early on a Friday morning dressed in a cream colored top with applique at the sleeves and a pair of slacks in a festive red color (so much better than her almost daily uniform of an oversized tee shirt over army fatigues).
She was like the first kid up on Christmas eagerly waiting for everyone else so they could all share in the magic of the day together.
Her favorite sister in law (widow of her oldest brother) was being driven North by one of her sons and his wife. They were stopping for a brief visit on their way up the East Coast to New Jersey to see other relatives.
“So”, I thought to myself when I heard the news of the impending visit, Miss Cathy was only the appetizer and the relatives further up the Northeast corridor the main course but, hey, “a visit is still a visit”.
Her family, mostly all of who live ‘Down South’ consists of three sisters, a brother, their spouses and offspring. And for whatever reason they’ve kept in touch pretty much the same way through the years, regardless of what’s happened, via telephone and the occasional holiday or birthday card till now.
Since I’ve lived here I’ve overheard promises from her family to visit and plans being made but for whatever reason the rubber never hit the road and they never come.
The only family she has seen since her diagnosis is her cousin, Mary and Mary’s two grown daughters who live here in the same state as mom.
But, I don’t think the reason they come is because of proximity, the come because they care.
Believe me, I am just as grateful for Mary and her daughter’s visits as Miss Cathy. They come with love and leave love behind.
It’s my firm belief that at the end of the day ‘people do what they want to do’; so wind, nor rain, nor front row tickets to a Lady Gaga concert could keep someone away from whatever it is that they really want to do.
So, the fact that not one of her siblings has come to see her is an on going source of pain, anger, disappointment and bewilderment for Miss Cathy.
But she was obviously ready to let all that go as she sat, barely able to contain herself every time she ‘thought’ she heard someone at the door, waiting for a familiar face from home.
When I walked into the room to help her with her morning meds it almost broke my heart to have to tell her that they weren’t due to arrive till Saturday.