Saturday is bath day. Living in a long term care facility, a resident gets a bath once a week. The other days of the week, well, let me just say it is not a pretty sight. For Mother, the one day a week bath is a very hard position to be in. The end of the day bath was a ritual for her. The bath was filled with hot water, she would soak for a bit and then wash the dirt away. After a brisk drying, Mom would prepare for bed. A fresh nightgown and “ROSES” cologne was spritzed over the pulse points.
As a child, a steamy rose scented bathroom defined the end of the day. Mother’s visits over the years, reinforced the childhood memory. The rose scented steam drifted out the bathroom door and gave me a sweet memory. For our son Geoffrey, it was cloying. To this day, he does not like any rose scented perfume. Nicole’s choice in perfume does not include roses.
In long term care facilities a “no scent” rule is posted in the elevator. Mom has a bottle of very expensive “rose” perfume. Unfortunately she cannot put it on. I suppose I will have to take it home soon. For now, it is a comfort for her. Her perfume. After all there are not many possessions left. Most of her possessions are in storage. I suppose one day I will have to go through it all before she passes on. It is just another increasing expense for Mother. Is it a matter of honour not to go through everything because she is still very much alive? Or, is it just one more chore to divest the world of Mother’s past life, to consider the monthly expense as an unecessary burden.
Everything has been taken away. Loss of sight, movement and some mental capacity. Not very much is left in Mother’s diminished world. On Saturday, I curled her hair, took a few photos, we listened to George Beverly Shea sing hymns and had a snack together. We had a laugh over family memories. We mourned Aunt Ethel who recently passed away. Now there is only Mother left. All the brothers, their wives, her sister and husband have passed. Mother’s two husbands and one daughter have passed. The majority of her friends have passed. Not many live to be 93 or older. We had a bit of a blue day and then we both started to fall asleep. Time to leave. Mom was listening to another tape of hymns when I left. She is always thankful for the clean laundry and tall, no whip mocha. Here are Saturday’s photos.