My mom and my niece will arrive at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. I will be thrilled to have my mom back in New York, but scared, too. Her heart will be heavy when she sees her sister, who at almost 93, can no longer move a single limb of her body, and has to be hoisted by a medical contraption. My aunt can no longer speak most of the time, and yet last night, when the home attendant found her wide awake at 4 a.m., and tried to coax her back to sleep, she said clearly, "I want to be awake when Gloria gets here."
My mom is several days away from getting here. My aunt has her time frames confused. But when I heard this, I was pierced once more by the devotion of the sisters to one another. I am glad my mom is coming to see her big sister. But she's 89, and is also declining. It's more clear now than it used to be. She too is starting to be confused by time, and to not remember things. She gets anxious easily, because she is so used to being able to control what happens for herself, and now she can't.
I don't think she can stay alone in her little studio, although she is insisting that she can. I think she needs to stay in our home, sleeping here at night, with family life flowing around her, and then she can eat dinner with us and I can help her bathe before bed and make her breakfast in the morning before work. I can then walk her back to her apartment, which is in the same building as my aunt, and they can visit together while we are at work and school. I hope the home attendant will agree to give my mother lunch along with my aunt, as my mom can't manage that on her own anymore. I really scared about how she will manage this time. It's all mixed in with the excitement at seeing her in just five days.
My son will be home for a hot minute this Thursday. One of his best friends is having an end of summer barbeque and many members of their high school track team will be there, all of them now scattered to different colleges, so he's taking the train to New York just for the day to attend. We'll see him when he stops home to shower. And then maybe again that night, before he catches the train back for the last two days of camp. Then he and his girlfriend will arrive home from camp on Sunday and will be with us for most of next week. Meanwhile my husband and I will make the drive up to pick up our girl on Saturday. My daughter loves her brother's girlfriend. Loves her. She says whenever they see each other at camp they jump into each other's arms and twirl around.
Okay, got to get to work. I've been getting home well into the evening since our new managing editor arrived. Even thought the spirit of the place is much lighter than it has been the last five years, we're too few people left on staff. We need more hands to execute our new editor-in chief's vision. These late evenings can't continue. Last night I got home at 11 p.m. and then stayed up till 3 a.m. just to feel as if I had some part of the day that was mine. We close the current issue tomorrow and after that, I'm going to have to be a little more judicious about my workload. Especially with my mom here and my daughter needing to visit colleges and figure out exactly where she plans to apply.