Today was Valentine's Day at Atria.
I decided to go over and have lunch with my mother, so as soon as Walt got back from running an errand, I took off, stopping first at a store where I could get a ridiculously priced vase with 3 roses in it. The roses look beautiful today, but from the look of them (cracked petals), I suspect that they won't last long, but it's the immediate gratification that works, and she was thrilled to have such a beautiful bouquet.
(I was thrilled to see that she had remembered to get to her hair appointment and looks SO MUCH BETTER than she has looked for weeks!)
I also brought her a box of those terrific Trader Joe truffles. In truth, I wanted a couple, but didn't want to buy myself a box because I'd eat them all, but if I gave them to my mother, I could still have a few.
We went off to lunch and sat at her "usual" table. She is usually the fourth person to a trio that sits together every day, but my friend Peggy and one of the other women were not there, so we sat with the two who were. It was nice to see that she and this woman were very comfortable with each other and obviously ate together often.
Interestingly, before we left, my mother commented on how she really didn't know any people at Atria and then added that she supposed if she went to some of the events she would know them, but she didn't want to. So her only social circle appears to be these three women with whom she eats regularly. She used to talk about always sitting with someone new each time; now she says that if there is no space at that table, she sits by herself. She also is adamant that this is her choice and that she is not interested in mixing socially with all these old people (she doesn't say it quite that way, but the disdainful look at the walkers and the comments about how old everyone is leads me to believe this is the reason she prefers solitude to attempting to meet anybody new)
Peggy has been a godsend. She knows everybody by name and mostly can tell you their life story. That includes the staff and the waiters and waitresses too. But she is moving next month to a newly opened facility that is closer to her daughter. She has taken my mother under her wing, they seem to have a very good relationship and a bit of the spark is going to go out of my mother's life when Peggy is no longer there.
The dining room was all tarted up in lots and lots of balloons, hanging things, and hearts on the walls. It really looked very nice. There was even a barbershop quartet singing.
My mother liked that they were singing so softly that they didn't interfere with conversation. I was glad of that too because they weren't very good and if they had been singing louder it would have been painful!
But they sang a long time. The guy on the left end is in a walker and it has to be a bit of an effort for him. They made the rounds of the dining room and sang to as many people as they could.
They called themselves something like the Harmony Blenders and I have to say that was a bit of a misnomer, but everyone loved them, and it was a fun addition to a Valentine's Day celebration.