Dad had an infection still. We find that he still needs much care. He continues to urinate frequently. He is becoming increasingly difficult. Little do we realize how ill he is. I continue to do his bills, collect his mail, and try to look after his affairs. He cannot write checks, I fill them in, but had just enough energy to sign them.
I picked up the mail today. This is to prove the most difficult and long-lasting issues of the grieving process. My parents continually received mail from organizations to which they had made donations. It took me more than a year to get mom's names off of the Reader's Digest list. I finally found the name of the PR person, wrote him a scathing letter, and we made it so.
Soon I will receive a letter from my mother’s best friend since her childhood. She had moved to the United States and they hadn’t visited in many, many years. I did not recognize her name in Mom’s address book. She wrote to Mom asking what is going on as she had phone twice and hadn’t heard from her. I had no idea that Mom had kept up with her, nor did I know her married name or recognized the foreign address.
I find her phone number in Mom’s obtuse address book and make the call. There is no answer. I leave a message saying that I am Joan’s daughter and wanted to talk to her. She does not phone for a couple of days and I phone back. This time Betty is home. I explained to her what had happened and feel so very sick at heart. Having gotten in touch with a couple of bereaved spouses in trying to contact all of Mom’s friends, I am reluctant to do so again. We spoke for a half hour. Mom had phoned her and said her good-byes, although Betty did not know it at the time. This is a story I heard several times over.
One issue that concerns me is knowing who is visiting Dad and keeping track of his caregivers. We are promised, by CCAC, that he will continue to receive extra care. I bought a Guest Book, in a silver (manly!) book cover with a silver fine pen for Dad’s room. Some people are most kind in signing it for us. It frustrated him no end when he cannot recall the names of visitors. It is a great investment.