Wait and See


After I wrote the column on Dearly Demented Mom’s upcoming demise, I received over 100 emails from you loyal readers. Not only did they touch my heart, I learned that numerous voices are reaching to heaven in prayer for us for which we are very thankful. But most importantly I understood that many of you are dealing with aging parents.

With that in mind, I feel it my duty to give all of you an update on Dearly Demented Mom because she has become part of your family, too. 

When the hospice doctor came to visit, he examined Mom and then announced to me she had 2 to 6 weeks to live. All I could think was, “Yeah, right. You don’t know my mother.” We’re into week 4 and she’s still going strong. Of course, the conversations are getting a bit weirder. 

Most on them can’t be told here because they involve cussing like a sailor. It seems that everyone who comes in contact with DDM gets to hear words that would have gotten my mouth washed out with soap. 

She has coined a new cuss word that she’s added to her arsenal. The other day while the dressing on her foot was being changed, Dearly Demented Mom kept yelling, “PDQ! PDQ!”  When I asked her what she meant, DDM glared and me and said, “Pretty Damn Quick!” 

Somehow, my parenting skills have reverted back to the “terrible twos” stage where I tell her not to talk like that to others and apologize profusely to those who have just been cussed out. Everyone says not to worry, but it’s stressing me out. My mother raised me to have manners. 

The hospice nurse suggested we give her a “happy pill.” Sounded like a good idea to me, though we’ve reached the stage where she can no longer swallow pills – whole or ground up – so I must administer said pill in a way that isn’t very pleasant for either one of us. It’s amazing what you can do when you have to.

Well, the medication didn’t work out so well. It hit DDM like a ton of bricks. About an hour after I administered it, I found Mom face down in her poached eggs. I put her in bed to sleep it off. I didn’t figure anybody needed to be that happy, so I no longer give her a happy pill. 

We’ve had some great moments though, like watching The Sound of Music the other night. Nobody cusses when Christopher Plummer walks in to the room. 

Dearly Demented Mom has even requested that I take her to Neiman Marcus to buy shoes on sale. Frankly, it’s a good sign when a woman’s still worried about her appearance. 

When she does decide it’s time to go to Heaven, I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. I’m going to take 2 weeks off from writing my column. I haven’t missed a column since I started writing them in 2006. But First Lieutenant Dorothy Baker warrants it. I will take her back to Dallas to rest next to my father and my husband. After that, I just need a bit of time to get my footing back. 

What I have planned during my absence is two classic DDM columns. I hope it gives those of you caregivers out there some strength and encouragement as well as those of you who have already lost a loved one to have a reminder of the love and laughter you shared together. 

God Bless you all. Pray for DDM.

Spreading laughter throughout the world…one chuckle at a time.

Mikie Baker

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