By Lisa Hirsch
PRINCESS RUTHIE, MY HERO
3 Years Ago
I try to spell with my mom alot so I may keep her mind active and stimulated. Does this really help? I’m not really sure, although today in 2012, I continue to spell with her. I really enjoy doing this exercise with my mom.
Several years ago mom use to mention from time to time about these men that were flirting with her. She’d tell me that even though she’s a princess, since I called her Princess Ruthie, she still had to clean her house(which she no longer could do) and she’d then break into singing “Que sera, sera, the futures not ours to see que sera,sera”. At these times Ruthie was so up and seemed so happy. It was times like this that I totally enjoyed rejoicing with her. How I had loved and cherished her happiness and enthusiasm. It didn’t matter where it came from, it just made me so happy to hear her so happy. Whatever world she might have been in, it did not matter. My mom no longer tells me about the flirting men or how she is busy cleaning her house. That was then, and this is now.
Mom still sounds on most days cheerful although I know that she is struggling to hold on. We can no longer have any real conversations and her words of wisdom have pretty much disappeared. When I say something to her she will answer with a two to three word response. Sometimes what she says makes perfect sense, and at other times I need to understand what she is trying to say (mean).
Yet Ruthie is still a pretty good speller. We have been reciting the whole A-Z alphabet song where my mom gets giddy as she is reciting. We then start with A and go all the way to Z as mom spells correctly on her own, almost every word I ask her to. This still amazes me because it certainly takes a memory to spell, especially since mom is not even writing anything down.
The other day when we were done spelling and having fun, my mom made a serious comment that her mind was not working. I quickly responded with “mom you have a very good mind ,how can you say that, didn’t you just spell the whole alphabet”? My mom said nothing. There was just total silence.
At moments like this it definitely seems to be getting more difficult. I often wonder when my mom says something like that, what is she really thinking. The good thing is that no matter what she immediately thinks, her thoughts are then wiped away, like a ship that is lost at sea. Lost in her memory for she cannot hold onto anything that she just said, or even imagined.
I take one day at a time and somehow my mom is still doing pretty well. She is a strong lady and her spirit has captured my heart in so many ways. My mom Ruthie ,remains my hero.