It's been a really tough stay in rehab for Mom. It's not new to her, she's done it before, but this time she's dealing with a lot of issues - mortality, feeling alone, physical hurt from from the injury, etc. The net result of this is that she has been really clingy, crying when I leave, berating me for being "late" when I never said when I'd be there (mind you, I've been there just about every day) and getting really nasty when I told her I might not be available one night because I was picking up my daughter from the airport and wanted to spend the evening with her. The staff of the place has been great, they all love her and can't do enough for her. For me, frankly, it's been a bitch.
Yesterday, the light broke through the clouds. During a contentious visit, I wheeled her out to the courtyard. As we were chatting, I noticed an elderly woman standing a few feet away from us, tending to her husband. She looked familiar - it turns out she was our neighborhood from my childhood home. Her husband is staying in the same place recovering from a stroke. Her daughter and I were very close friends all through elementary and high school. We talked for a while and I wheeled Mom back. Later that night, I picked up R from the airport and we headed back to the nursing home to see Mom. It was a different Mom - she reconnected with these neighbors and urged me back to the courtyard to talk with my old friend. I just missed her, but her sister (another friend) was there with the parents and we all sat and talked for a long time - it was like old home week. It made Mom feel so much better to have a connection and it made me feel good to know Mom felt better about being there, and to reconnect with old friends.