In good news, I was able to get Mom to let me do the care she needed.
I'm back over there tomorrow.
6 am phone call this morning from my Dad, who sounded like death. He'd been up since midnight and was not able to care for Mom when she woke. So i gathered all my stuff up and went over.
He didn't have a fever and, with someone else there to relieve his worry, he slipped into fitful sleep. I helped Mom from her bed and took her to his side, where she sat holding his hand for some time. I did a little personal work, split a grocery store muffin with Mom for breakfast, and she didn't really eat it. (I think, eventually, Dad ate most of it.) I cleaned up the kitchen which was ... well, it's hard to judge someone else's mess. I think most of the mess was not terribly old, but i shoved almost everything into the dish washer and ran it. I did find what looked to be a used pot lid that had been put back unwashed. As a pescetarian, i have developed sensitivities such that i find meat fat to be so very gross. Anyhow, the overwhelming smell of meat fat taints my judgement of cleanliness. I was able to assert myself so that I made Mom take care of her necessary bodily functions, something she has refused me to help with in the past. Yay me!
I made sure Mom attended her Lutheran church service. It seems so rushed, read this, read that. Another sensitivity from years in a more ascetic tradition. There was one hymn i found interesting, "Awake, my soul, and with the sun." I think the specific focus on an act of the day, was what grabed my attention. I read now, Thomas Ken "is best known for his morning, evening, and midnight hymns, each of which have as their final stanza the famous doxology “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow.”"
I took Mom back to Dad while I made a potato salad with boiled egg that turned out nicely. I chatted with my sister who is on vacation. She and her family had hiked to a mountain top and finally had signal there. I celebrated my ability to help Mom, given the last time i had Mom's care, i had to get my sister over to help clean Mom up because Mom refused to admit her need.
Eventually, i went and fetched mom for lunch. Dad eventually joined, but went back to bed, wobbling down the hall. We watched several hours of TV. I tried to make some conversation, but Mom clearly just wanted to watch something. I think i can believe her to be worse now that for a while after the stroke: one of her doctors has suggested she continues to have small strokes.
Dad finally made back out of bed and assisted Mom from her chair to the couch, proving to himself he would be able to assist her other ways.
I left for home, feeling like i'd been in a haze all day. Home there's the smell of shrimp and Old Bay crab boil. I still feel a certain sort of malaise. A horror at seeing my father laid so low, i suppose. He and i both acknowledged the frail limitations of these bodies we have. He's just now beginning to deal with his realizations that he does not have a long time left with Mom.
I pointed out how i also witnessed the strength of their love. Mom's devotion to Dad as he slept and rested was so sweet, although i think through the anger and vitriol she expressed towards him as i was growing up.... Dad knew this love was underneath that, i realize.