Steamy Family

#alzheimersawarenessmonth #FAMILY #caregiving

My reusable plastic shopping bags crinkled when I set them on my kitchen counter. I leaned over it and peeked into the living room. Yep, hubby is napping in his recliner.

Voices echoed inside my Mom’s room. I opened the door, and discovered Sis bent over Mom laying a wet towel on her chest.

Sis explained, “Hey sis, I’m putting hot compresses on Mom to loosen her congestion. It’s helping her voice.”

“It’s not a whisper anymore,” Mom croaked out.

“That’s great! I wanted to put her in a steamy shower, but she hasn’t felt strong enough. I forgot all about hot compresses. Mom gave all of us those.”

Sis grimaced, “Mom put them on me when I had pleurisy, remember that? That was the worst thing. I was in so much pain.”

Mom frowned and crunched up her face. “I did?”

“Yeah, you guys were at the kitchen table.” I nodded. “I’d come home from school and know Sis was sick. And Rick! Remember the hot compresses on his back for acne? Nasty.” I shuddered.

Mom swung her face with a blank expression between us during our discussion. “I don’t remember any of that.”

Sis patted Mom’s shoulder. “It’s okay.”

“What about the pot of boiling water sitting in front of me at the kitchen table?” I grinned at Mom. “I’d have bronchitis or something, and Mom put a towel over my head to catch the steam. When it got too hot, I’d lift the towel and ask, ‘Am I done now?’ She’d say, ‘Put that towel back down. You can stop when the timer goes off. Now, breathe deep.’ I hated it, but it worked.”

We laughed.

“I do remember that.” Mom smiled. “We must have been a real steamy family.”


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