While Lisa Gayle and I were standing next to Mother in her wheel chair
"My mouth is feeling funny." "I don't want to die." (This would have been another opportune time for me to talk with Mother about not fearing the afterlife and to reassure her that she would be going to heaven where she would be with Dad and her mother and father. Audrey's early religious teaching had sustained her throughout her life.)
Audrey at a family gathering at Amber and Steve's house with plenty of food and fellowship
("Tell those people to quiet down. We are trying to sleep." (Audrey, with this episode of aphasia, was trying to get comfortable in her wheel chair. We were trying to decide which chair [companion or wheel] would be most convenient as well as most comfortable for her) (One of the grandchildren said: But Gramma, they haven't seen one another in a long time.) "Well, as long as they are descent." (Later one of her grandchildren said: I'm going home to eat.) "Why didn't you have some of the free stuff they have handed out all day."
Field Trip scheduled for Audrey to meet a distant cousin who is also a descendant of John and Joan (née Tattersall) Greene.
Having read David McCullough's book "1776" where he mentioned interviewing a descendent of General Nathaneal Greene in Warwick, I looked in the phone book to find this descendent, Thomas Casey Greene living on the Greene homestead and the birthplace of Nathanael Greene in Warwick, R.I. Mr. Greene, an older gentleman, said he would be happy to meet Mother who was named after her ancestral great (7 times) grandmother, Audrey Greene. Douglas--from New York-- drove Mother and me--from California-- in Lisa Gayle's Rhode Island van to the homestead in the pouring rain. Thomas Casey had graciously agreed beforehand to come out with his "galoshes" and an umbrella to meet Audrey. He stood outside the car window in the rain for nearly an hour talking to Audrey about their history. When we left, Mother put her hand up to him as if to say good-bye and thank you for your time conversing with us. This gesture let us know that Mother was very much aware of the visit and conversation that I had planned for her.
Heather: It's raining out.
"Good thing we have all our doings inside." (Heather: A penny for your thoughts?) "I want to know what you are thinking." (laughter)
Heather: When I labeled your bureau drawers, you asked me to move one of the labels over a few inches so the drawer labels would all be symmetrical. I did not notice the artistic difference it would make until you pointed it out. You are amazing. Deardra has that artistic eye also.
"I didn't know that. I realize I've done it all my life. Figuring it out for myself." (Heather: A penny for your thoughts?) "Nothing. I don't like New Hampshire, the word. Right then and there, it didn't appeal to me. Now it sounds good." (Heather: A penny for your thoughts?") "I'm thinking that Spencer saying a penny for your thoughts. He says that to Brenda. I don't think my boys were very good to their wives. They don't go out of their way at all to say "Dear", "Honey". You know. (Heather: You should tell them.) "I will. I think their lives are better than their wives. I think they aren't too sweet to their wives."
Heather: Do you like SlimFast? I like it because it is an easy meal when I am on the go.
"It's so so." (Heather: A penny for your thoughts?) "A penny for your thoughts is in my heart. I've had it said to me by older people, but no young person every said it." (Heather: Yes, I guess we can call that an old-fashion saying, but I love it. Well, I'm in my 60s. I am not sure whether I am young or old but I'll ask again. A penny for your thoughts?) "I'm looking at that crate and wondering what it is for. Stuck in there." (Mother, you are amazing. It is the attractive packaging that I put up there on top of the wardrobe closet to get it out of the way. You have an eye for décor It is very obvious that you were on full scholarship at the Rhode Island School of Design for three years. You never lost that eye for décor. Mother, you amaze me.)
(Email from Douglas re visiting Mother at Kent Regency)
(Douglas arrived at Kent Regency with his guitar for a sing along. Mother wanted to lead the sing along and wanted to go get the other residents. Doug explained that the staff would get the other residents, so she did not have to do that.) "Just hold on to me (when I get out of this chair). I've done this before. Let's go." (Audrey still longing for her mobility and longing to help her children.) (The staff was there to gather the residents and there was a nice sing along by the nurses' station.)
Heather: Yes, Mother, your children will always remember you. I am continuing to write down our conversations and compiling them in your memoirs booklet. I named the work Glimpses of the Past: Morning Conversation with Audrey because when we began the conversations it was on Wednesday mornings when you were living at Crystal's house and then on Saturday mornings when you were at Alpine. What do you most want me to remember?
"Remember? I'm thinking of Honey. I wish she were here." (Honey was a white poodle that Audrey watched for her son, Vaughn and daughter-in-law Patricia. However, Audrey got attached to Honey and could not part with the dog when they came to pick her up. We are all grateful to Pat for letting Mother adopt Honey. Honey added many happy years to Audrey and Milton's life.) (Heather: A penny for your thoughts?) "I wonder how many pennies are hiding in the dark." (Again this is evidence of Audrey's aphasia, "a language disorder having difficulty remembering words to being completely unable to speak...".)
(Wednesday Heather visiting with Mother at Kent Regency)
"I must make more poems and they must be beautiful." (Heather: Yes, Mother. I have compiled all your poetry into a booklet and I love to read your work.) "Every time you say that I look at your teeth. They are good teeth." (Heather: Yes, Mother. I've glad I had braces when I was younger.) "The room stays the same; it never changes." (Heather: Do you like your room?) "Yes. The bed is soft and comfortable. You showed me your teeth." (Heather: Thank you, Mother. I like my teeth also. Do you want me to send out the Date books to your relatives and friends again this Christmas?) "Yes, they all seem to love it. It is such a nice thing to do. Send me one too. I've got everything." "I wonder how much you know of that paper" (Audrey referring to her Memoir's booklet Glimpses of the Past: Morning Conversation with Audrey placed on the tray table.) "Is that what I say? I try to leave, so you remember. Remember me."
Heather: Mother, I found out more information about Audrey Green, your great, great, great, great, great, great,great (7 times) grandmother that you were named after. Audrey Greene descends from John Green and Joan Tattersall. A woman in my local California Chapter of the DAR also descends from that couple and she was telling me about this New England couple in the 1600s.
(Phone Conversation on Labor Day when staff member answered Mother's phone so Mother could talk with me on the speaker phone--Rhode Island Adaptive Telephone Equipment Loan Program managed by Goodwill Industries of R.I.) "I can't understand...You got to come over here and show it to me..." (Heather: Oh, I know it is confusing, but I am so happy that we can find this information about our ancestors. I'm reading 1776 by David McCullough and the author says that the Green house where General Nathaneal Green was born is still in the Green family in Warwick, R.I. Let's plan to ride by there when I come to R.I.) "Oh, that sounds great...You got to come here and put me in the right place...It's so bad...I'm awfully sad...I wish I were closer to you..." (Heather: I'll continue to try to get to see you once a month. I am able to get the time off work because of the government program, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). I wish I were old enough so that I could leave my work at the state and still keep my health insurance, but anyway, I am happy to get the time off to see you monthly.) (Exact date and time in September not recorded, but on a phone conversation with Mother): "I want you to be with me alone with you in this thing. I want Douglas to come."