Yesterday was a long day. Mom slept in her chair and I browsed through our family albums yesterday, taking a trip back through our family’s journey. Looking at smiling faces of people long gone, the memories came flooding back.
Seeing my grandparents holding me as an infant to seeing me holding my first granddaughter. That granddaughter represented the 5th generation on my Dad’s side and there was the picture documenting that milestone. As I looked at my great-grandmother in that pic, I remembered her parakeet, but not it’s name…..sad the things you thought you would never forget. I remembered how she taught me to crochet and tried to teach me how to tat, never got that down, what a shame. When she wasn’t doing some kind of needle work, she was reading her Bible, singing a hymn or praying. She always wore her hair (tinted with tea) in a bun on the top of her head. I loved watching her redo the bun in the mornings. Her hair came down to the back of her knees and she would bend over, gather it to the top of her head and use one finger to twirl it back into that bun. When she went outside she always wore a bonnet and all her dresses came to her ankles and always had lace collars. She would come to stay with my grandmother for a month each summer, but lived with another daughter in a neighboring town. When she was 88 her hip broke one morning as she was bending down to wash her face. I know she went to the hospital for a while then came back to her daughter’s home. The doctors said she would never walk again but she did, using her walking stick. I can still smell that faint hint of talcum powder and rose-water and feel her kiss my cheek and forehead…..she died at the age of 94 and her last words were, “come sweet Jesus“.
As I sit here this morning thinking about times past when aging parents came to live with one of their children, nursing homes were few a far between in those days, I wonder if I am just being selfish. Mom will go to the nursing home tomorrow and I am feeling guilty about taking her away from her home and all the things and memories that surround her here. I am sad that this time has come. Mom has always been very independent and strong-willed but seems to have given up, she refuses to eat and drink enough to sustain her body even though she knows that is the reason she gets weaker by the day. The last 10 weeks of trips to the cancer center have been miserable for her and for us and now I am wondering if going through that was wise. We made that choice because the doctors told us that because the cancer wasn’t going to affect any vital organs, that it would literally eat her face before it got the best of her. I couldn’t bear that thought….
I tell myself that since I can’t lift her, that my home is ill-suited to take care of her and that our lifestyle would change too drastically, that she will be better off and have better care in the nursing home but it still isn’t easy to do….
Praying for Grace and Mercy to face whatever comes next…..
- Protecting Medicaid Eligibility For A Person In A Nursing Home (indianatrustestateplanningelderlawblog.wordpress.com)