December 2004 

Holiday greetings to the friends of Irene LaFrenz:


Not much news to report on my mother this holiday season.  She still resides at the Hawthorne Inn not far from where I live, but she’s had to transfer from the Assisted Living Wing to the Skilled Nursing Wing.  Last spring when she was at my house for her weekly Sunday visit, I noticed that she could no longer walk from living room to bedroom.  Shortly after that she had a fall at Hawthorne and was briefly hospitalized for x-rays and tests.  Luckily, no bones were broken, but we learned that she could no longer safely move about on her own.


In the ensuing months, Mom has become less and less active.  She is now almost entirely bed-ridden with very little appetite.  But she still enjoys liquids, especially chocolate milk!  When I urge her to eat, I often tell her that she’s not a very good eater, but she’s a heavy drinker.  She replies that she’s glad she’s still good at something.  Perhaps you can imagine how tiny she has become.  Probably 70-80 pounds.  A young woman who works at the Hawthorne Inn occasionally lifts her from her bed into a shower chair.  Mom calls that woman “Strong Arm Charlie.”


So Mom still has an occasional sense of humor although her life is very limited, and sometimes, especially in the early evenings, she seems melancholy. 


We’re amazed and grateful that she is still with us.  A couple of months ago I was prepared to say my final goodbye, but Mom just keeps keeping on.  Every morning when I go in to assist with breakfast, she opens her blue eyes and says with pleasant surprise, “Oh, it’s Martha!”


Who knows?  She may make it to 102!


Thanks for all your messages.  Hope you have a wonderful holiday.



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