Some of the bonds you have with family are just plain odd – but they are familiar so you don’t really know how odd until you start to tell other people. I had to preface this story with that statement, because I know this will seem weird, but I’m owning it!
My brother and I have always joked about how we get a mouth sore if we eat too many salty foods. He’s been visiting with my parents for four days and I know almost every meal has been at the retirement home, the country club or Arby’s. Those are three food sources for my parents these days. When I return from my trip I ask him, “Already have a mouth sore?” He smiles and shakes his head no.
Both my brother and sister offer to cook, but my parents prefer to eat out. I tried several times to take over casseroles and stews, but they would go uneaten past the point of me making it and putting it on the table in front of them. There are so many changes in their behavior, I am sometimes with strangers.
My mom had a stroke and was told to eat low salt, low fat foods. Even if she did remember, she would not change her diet. She’s very thin, always has been. I remember on a doctor report she was described as “frail” and she really bristled at that word. Today she’s at least 10 pounds lighter.
I struggled with myself when we ate together for the past few years. She would order chicken fingers and then pour salt over her plate (no, she does not taste it first). It took me a while to overcome watching her eat against what the doctor suggested. She enjoys choosing her own meals. As far as I know at this point, changing her menu won’t improve her brain functions. I am letting this sleeping dog lie. Tempered.