Today I picked up my mom at her new place and took her to play Scrabble with her friends at the old place. She’s been playing Scrabble with the same group of ladies every Saturday for four years. She’s been asking me about it all week. We got in the car and started out, talking about picking up something for lunch and eating it at the clubhouse before the game. A few minutes into the drive, she asked me if we were going the right way for the church. “No, Mom, it’s Saturday. We’re going to play Scrabble at the Legacy, remember?”

It’s so bizarre to me that she can lose track of what we’re doing that fast, yet once we sit down to play Scrabble she’s as sharp as she ever was – keeps track of whose turn it is, counts up her points accurately, plays great words. We played four games and her score was higher than mine every time. And yet, in the space of ten minutes she’ll sometimes ask me four times what we’re doing.  I don’t know what’s happening to her mind, and it scares me.

I worry about leaving her tomorrow. I don’t have the confidence I’d hoped to have in her caregivers at the assisted living. They’ve dropped the ball enough times in the four days since she moved in – enough mistakes have been made, enough promises unfulfilled until I got in someone’s face about it – that I worry she won’t get the care she’s paying over two grand a month for if I’m not there checking up on them. She’ll never know if they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do, so how am I supposed to know if I’m not there?

I keep telling myself that she’s where she’s supposed to be for right now and that means she’ll be all right. I keep reminding myself that she’s safer here than she was living on her own, that at the very least she’ll get better nutrition and get her medication on schedule. I keep hoping that once she gets into a routine at the new community, she won’t be so confused. But it’s still very hard to leave her.

This morning I was celebrating being finished with her move. Tonight I’m realizing that, while this was a big step, it was only the first step on a long road and my job is far from completed.


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