In a way, Mom's condition has been good for me. That's selfish, I know, but at least I've been able to contribute something to her recovery, even if it's nothing more than being there. Whenever I see how much other people can do for her, and how much they contribute to her life, I get a strong sense of my own inferiority.
Eric makes her laugh. David makes her laugh and fixes things around the house. John makes her laugh, fixes things, and comes up with weird suggestions (a two-sided plunger to rest her forehead on!). Suzanne does all that and so much more, including cooking for her and carrying on the kind of conversation that lets her know she's still part of the world, and her thoughts still matter, even if no one can look her in the eye.
And me? I do my best, but I'm not as good at any of these things. But I'm there a lot. If she needs something, I can get it, or help her get it. If she has something to say, I can listen. I can keep the dishes in her sink washed and put away where she can find them.
I lasted only about four hours this afternoon, before she kicked me out. She's not eating as well as she was at first, because some of the medication is upsetting her stomach. She's forcing herself to eat enough to keep going, but she wouldn't let me fix her anything tonight. She said she didn't think she could force anything down other than soda crackers.
While I was there I read her the Sunday paper, including the comics, and of course the obituaries. We always have to double check, just in case. No use being surprised.