Today mom’s 95 year-old husband, Jim, came from Tucson with his son Jay. I wasn’t sure how it would go. When we left Denver she was very mad at him as she felt he had abandoned her by moving out of the assisted living and leaving her on her own. Actually, because of the amount of care she needed, she was better off here with me and he was fine to live with his family. Honestly, who knows really what she thought but she had built it up to be a pretty big deal. She refused to even say goodbye to him when we left. That however, did not stop her from speaking of him frequently and wondering where he was.
Now, three months later (has it really only been three months since she came here?) everything has changed in her mind. I didn’t think she would know either Jim or Jay but we talked about them coming. When I spotted them pulling into the parking lot, I asked her if she wanted to go out to meet them. When we got to the lobby she and Jim would have run to each other if they could. Jim was absolutely overwhelmed with seeing mom again. He told her he loved her so much and had tears in his eyes as we walked to her room.
It was not clear if she realizes that Jim is her husband or what the relationship is, but she was ecstatic to have the attention of these two nice men. Then as all the excited talk went on between them mom pulled out of her memory somewhere that Jim had been her doctor. (For those of you that missed that part of the story, my dad died in 1991. Jim’s wife had passed away as well. They reunited then while walking in a Denver park. Jim was the OB/GYN that had delivered me as a baby. They have been married for 15 years.)
It was really one of the greater things that I have witnessed in my life to see the love Jim had for my mother. She was a little confused and a little unsure but Jim had enough love for both of them. It was not unlike the south Texas version of “The Notebook”.
When we had talked about their visit before they came she was worried about her usual litany of things, her hair (she was convinced that her old Denver hairdresser Betty Burke would come fix it for her), what she was going to wear (did she have the right clothes?) and where they would meet. I assured her that I would be there to help her get ready and she was okay with that.
The next couple of days, Jim and Jay will visit with mom, do some sight-seeing (that shouldn’t take too long in Wharton) and tomorrow we will have a family and friend dinner so that Jim can see Ally, her new baby and Jordyn. Blake and his mom, Jo Etta, will come along as they are just like family. We will all go to the Mexican restaurant that mom and I visited before. I know mom will enjoy the attention and diversion from the usual nursing home activities. I just hope when Jim leaves she doesn’t miss him as much as she did before.