With the aide’s help we got there at last and nestled in, talking and giving her some loving human touch with pats and hugs. She told us quite a bit, most of it in words we couldn't understand.
But at one point she said "Jan," my older sister's name, very clearly in the middle of a sentence. We loved hearing that because Jan has been the one on the front lines with both Dad and Mom for at least a decade and it felt as if this still registered with Mom. She also said "Bill" a couple of times--my dad's name and we think she meant him, in whatever mash-up she was sharing.
There I helped Kate move and did a thousand other things for the next 3 days: worked on presentations for the conference I was to attend later in the week, rode my bike officially and unofficially, went to meetings and events, smelled the lilacs in Manito Park, ate ice cream at The Scoop, spent time with friends, and drove back across the state to Grand Mound, near Olympia.
Operating on a 92-year-old woman with dementia who’s on blood thinners and who doesn’t understand what’s happening didn’t make sense.
My older sister Jan wrote a beautiful obituary that tells you more about her life.