I've been calling my mother in the care facility every day since she had her own phone installed. She's due to be released and start living a normal life again in another six weeks. Dad says my calls help him out, and I enjoy taking the time to do so - its not a chore as much as it is a scheduled opportunity - Mom and I rarely run out of things to say.
But more than that its GREAT FUN because she's on some hard hitting hallucinogenics and that affords me the opportunity to engage her on a different level without having to worry about any fallout or hurting her feelings. Or misunderstandings. Because you know, she's bombed out of her mind about 50% of the time.
Its also rather fascinating to hear what she has to say about recent visits with long dead ancestors - what they ate and what they did to pass the time. Why just the other day she told me she drove to visit my children, who were apparently adults! She did catch herself halfway through that one realizing the impossibility.
But most of all I get to say things aloud - bounce ideas off her - and feed back to her some of the positive, life-enforcing things she's taught me. "How did you get to be so smart?" she asks me. I tell her, "You told me these things when I was young. I'm simply reminding you."
Then dad and I touch base and tell Mom stories. We gauge her daily craziness level. Despite her current hardship, its uplifting to the both of us. While she may not remember my calls from one day to the next, her mood is lifted when I call - and that can have a lasting effect - and I have a captive audience!