I came into the nursing home today to visit Mother, but I am filled with guilt that she is here. Mother feared that one day she would end up in a nursing home and for her to be here now makes me feel really bad. I suppose I will carry this around for the rest of my life.
I can’t make heads or tails out of my life when it comes to Mother. I wanted only the best for her; I am talking blue oceans, sand between her toes and sunshine on her face. We did go to Florida, in fact I moved her there with me many years ago, but because of my sister disability it was best for her to go back to Philadelphia so that she could get help taking care of my sister, institutionalization was not an option.
Mother was a fierce advocate for Diona, her last daughter although it would take eleven years she finally secured services in the home for Diona. Then she had to fight for the best service, there will be more about that later in other writings. I found Mother clean today and sitting at the dining table eating. One of the staff was assisting her eating which I was happy to see. I am happy when I see the staff doing their job. Often I come in to the nursing home and the staffs are standing around the receptionist all in a huddle gossiping, and laughing as if they are in the playground and not at work at all. I have come to the nursing home and found Mother saturated in urine and feces, when this happens it breaks my heart because I feel guilty that she is not home with me.
I have asked for Mother to come home with me but I was told that she would only get four hours of service two hours in the morning to get her up and dressed and two hours in the evening to help her get ready for bed. The problem with that is what about the in-between time, who would care for Mother? I couldn’t do it, I have a son to raise, a sister to take care of and there would be no time for myself.
My mother worked hard her entire life raising a family all by herself. She did a very good job. If parenting was ranked the way we look at sports she would be Michael Jordan. No, seriously, I am not just saying that, that woman has been through a lot. I remember all the stories she told me about the men in her life, how she had been jilted by a man she had a baby with but the baby was born still born. She told me she was so sad because she lost the man and the baby.
I wished I could have crawled back to those years and tell that man, “Hey you are messing with my Mom”. I would have really let him have a good tongue lashing. I am so glad that he went on about his business. My Mom had a lot of heart break including my Dad. The ironic thing is that he is in the nursing home with her. Both of them are here, really gives you a true sense of the statement “till death do us part”. Mother can’t stand my father. They are on separate floors. When I first placed Mother in here all of a sudden he wanted to act like the dutiful husband. He is about forty years too late.
Today I do a lot of writing. A piece that I am writing now for a speech is called Carpe Diem. Seize the day. Stop procrastinating in your life. Live your dreams don’t be afraid what people might think do it anyway, that is the only way you grow and get closer to the creator do what he calls you do. That calling is your inner desires, that thing that keeps tugging away in your mind, body and spirit. All we have is today. Tell your parents you love them. Tell your wife, husband children, family friends that you love them don’t wait until tomorrow. Seize the day.