Monday, October 16, 2006

My Last Day

I arrived at 9 am to take Mom out for a big day: first to church, then to the baptism of her former caregiver's baby at St. Basil's Church on Wilshire, and then to a celebratory luncheon at Q Q's Restaurant in Glendale.
I was relieved to find that she was dressed in the maroon and black knit suit I had laid out for the occasion and that she had finished her breakfast.
"You look great today," I said. "Your hair too, even though it's almost been a week. Tomorrow you get your hair done. It's your hair's last day."
"It's my last day too," she said.
This comment stopped me short. I wasn't sure how to reply, so I didn't.
"Okay, we have your purse, your envelope for the offering," I said, changing the subject. We're all ready to go."
We went. We saw. We did pretty well.
I brought her back at 3: 30 pm, and we passed through the large room full of residents sitting in a circle for a social time or story. I handed Mom off to Racquel again.
As it turned out, for one of the cheerful, white-haired residents sitting in the circle, it really was her last day.
The next day she was gone.

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