During the Covid-19 social distancing, Mom’s activities were severely restricted and she was not able to go for dementia group activities. As those activities have been allowed to resume, she was invited back.
She’s not so happy about it though. Her whole demeanour conveys, “What’s the point?” She leaves home for those activities looking glum. But she smiles again when she’s back, cleaned and settled. So I know she’s not totally oblivious to her surroundings although she is sleeping and has her eyes closed most of the time.
She doesn’t complain, probably because she has no urge to speak or express herself, or has lost the ability to do so. But I can read her expressions and I do try to update her what’s going on. She pays attention, and sometimes she rewards me by replying with one word or three. Mostly she simply nods or shakes her head ever so slightly in response to direct questions.
I wish she could say more. She’s obviously thinking about something. We can only guess what she’s thinking.
Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year is a major celebration amongst the Chinese, occurring in January or February every year according to the lunar calendar.
In my childhood, I remember what an effort my Mom put in, getting up at dawn to cook for all the visiting relatives. There were so many visitors we would have to cook rice multiple times in the cooking pot, so some had to wait their turn to eat. All the aunts when they arrived would help serve and wash up, buy nobody could help with the cooking as that was Mom’s domain and she wanted no help.
There would be braised pork, chicken, mixed vegetables, stuffed vegetables, homemade Chinese sausages, pork stomach soup, bean curd skin with meat stuffing. Somehow I thought one day I would learn and magically produce these meals when my turn came, but that didn’t happen. Instead I learned my own dishes and produced smaller meals for smaller gatherings. But that too came to end with restaurant meals and restaurant quality takeaways.
So now we have instead learnt how to properly heat up delicious food from restaurants and plate them. The Covid-19 forehead thermometer has a setting for surface temperatures that is useful to check on defrosting foods.
Mom’s recipes are probably gone forever, although she kept handwritten books which may still show up some day. She went from not having to cook, to telling me she has forgotten and now totally forgetting that she could. We’re all happy that she continues to enjoy eating good food.