Audrey Mae SpencerSpencer Historical CemeteryHenry Straight / William Spencer Family Cemetery
Vaughn Historical CemeterySpencers of East Greenwich, RI
Life at Kent Regency Nursing Home
18 April 2005

Heather: Yes, Mother I have.

“You have your car?  You have blankets in your car?”

18 April 2005

Heather: Yes, Mother. I packed everything I need. It is so neat. I’m 62 years old and you still have that mothering instinct to be concerned about the welfare of your children. I suppose I’ll do that when my daughter is 62 years old also.

“I hope I’ve got everything together that I want.”

19 April 2005

Heather: (Mother and I were outside in the sun for 40 minutes when Audrey said:)

“I want to go in.  It is too hot.”

(Later, Margaret walked Mother a short distance.)

(Later, Mike, the certified nurse aide weighed Mother. Mother’s response illustrated her difficulty in finding the correct speech.)  “What was it?  How tall am I?”

(Later a cna asked Mother if she wanted to lie down, sit in the wheel chair or sit on the edge of the bed. With too many options, Mother responded with confusion.   “What am I supposed to do?”

(After a day of activity and rest, I asked Mother “Are you comfortable?” Her disoriented response showed her imaginary thinking and difficulty in finding the right words.)   “No, I’m a student.”

20 April 2005

Heather: (continuing my visit with Mother at Kent Regency Nursing Home)

“Heather, come here. You always listened to me and obeyed my commands.  Good. Come here right now. You sit on my lap so they can’t wheel me away from you.”

(Another conversation with Mother): “I’m doing fine. I feel rather sharp. I’m taking care of myself.”

(Audrey was looking at the booklets of her writing and art work that I had compiled and set on her tray table): “That looks good!”

(Another conversation with Mother later in the day): “Do you want some candy?  I don’t want any. Do you?”

(Later in the day a conversation with Mother while we were sitting under a tree and feeling this beautiful breeze, I asked her, “What do you like best about Kent Regency?”):  “You.”

(I read some of her memoirs to her and she was listening very intently and seemed amused.  Previously, she had told me that she was amused by her responses.)

(Situation not recorded but now remembered [date not recorded]:  Mother and I were waiting in a Doctor’s office for the van to pick us up.  There was a mix up and we waited an hour or more. Mother began to cry.  The only way I could keep Mother from crying was to softly read aloud her biography that was in Glimpses of the Past: Morning Conversations with Audrey and the poem,Summer, she wrote .  I  recited this continually and continuously until the office had realized their mistake and the van came for us. While we were getting on the van, a middle aged man came over to me and said “I just have to tell you, that is a wonderful thing you are doing for your mother…”.)

(An insight into ageism:  To change the above repetitions leading to monotony, I started to read the Constitution which always interested Mother.  My reciting the Constitution did not interest Mother and she started to cry, so I gladly went back to reciting her biography and poems she wrote.)

15 May 2005

Audrey attended her granddaughter, Hannah Katherine MacDonald’s preformance at the Stadium Theater in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

(Douglas drove Mother, Lisa, Meagan and Julie to the show.  Mother was awake though 90% of the show.)

“Hannah has a nice voice!”

(They got back to Kent Regency around 10:30 PM.  Mother was pretty sleepy by then, says Doug.)

17 May 2005

Heather’s continuing monthly visits with Mother because of availability of FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) through her work as a CA state employee:

(On Tuesday morning, Mother ate a great breakfast. She loves French toast and syrup and also ate quite a bit of Cream of Wheat. When lunch came, she said:  “I’m full” even before I started to feed her.  Instead she ate a couple of oatmeal cookies that I made using her favorite recipe. I baked them in California and carried them on the plane to Rhode Island for her.

Later in the day, Jean Martin came to visit Mother and she suggested I purchase sun catchers for Audrey’s window in place of the outside bird feeders that Mother loved. Later in the day while Audrey was sleeping, I went out and purchased sun catchers of bird shapes.

Tuesday evening, Mother, Margaret–another Kent Regency resident–and I had a poetry reading session.  Mother recited The Owl and the Pussy Cat with much help from me. She seemed concerned that she was doing so badly.  I explained to her that we all have days when we are not as sharp as other days.)

18 May 2005

Heather not keeping good records of dates of conversations:

“I feel terrible.”

(Heather:  Does, your back hurt, Mother?)  “No, I just feel miserable everywhere.”

(Later that day, I asked Mother if she wanted to lie down.)   “I’m fine.”

(Sunday, date not recorded)

“Your tongue fits in your mouth good.”  (Heather: Thank you, Mother.  I do have a pretty smile.  My teeth are really pretty.  I am so glad I put braces on them when I was young. I was told by doing that I could keep my teeth for the rest of my life.)

(Monday, date not recorded)

(Heather:  How come you are so sweet?”)  “Oh dear, I don’t know.”

(Heather: A penny for your thoughts?)  “I wonder how much my thoughts are worth?”

(Heather: Another penny for your thoughts?)  “What are my thoughts? “When chapman billies leave the street, and drouthy thursty neebors neebors meet, [reciting Robert Burns’ Tam O’Shanter as Audrey was getting out of bed]. “Dawn, I’m hurting.”

28 May 2005

Douglas arriving later than usual and Mother had already been fed so Vickie, Mother’s nurse seeing Doug, amusingly said “Do you want a visitor?” Mother had been weeping and when Doug stood in front of Mother, she looked at Doug with a puzzled look and asked:

“What’s his name?”

(Vickie said “It starts with D.”)  “DOUGLAS!” (Audrey shouted with glee.)

(Douglas and Mother strolled around the outside of the facility for some time.)

29 May 2005

Douglas continuing his visit with Mother:

(Mother was drawing in the drawing pad that Doug brought with him.

Later in the day, Douglas drove Mother and Deardra to visit Luane (née Cahoon) McDonald and her mother, Anna Jane (née Spencer) Cahoon.”)

19 June 2005

Douglas visiting his mother:

(On Sunday, Mother was weepy pretty much all day long.  Several times she asked where her sister-in-law Marjorie MacDonald was. After several hours of weeping:  “Things have happened all wrong.”

(Doug took Mother for a two-hour drive.)

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