In the past week, each day I have visited Mom at the nursing home. It's interesting seeing all of the different personalities of folks, and seeing those who I have known when their days were full and productive. Seeing my son's principal who now is in a nursing home, church members who were businessmen, office workers, teachers, and others who, on the outside of the nursing home, were productive citizens.
Some have visitors every day, some, I am sure, go days, weeks without seeing anyone from the outside world. Valentine's Day brought stuffed animals to all of the residents, some clinging to them in a child like way. Home made Valentine's cards made by children to be sent out to the residents graced the tables at meal time.
Mom seems content there and for that I am glad. I still grapple with the fact that there has come a time where her care has become bigger than I can handle. I haven't learned the ins and outs of how the nursing home works, how to make things happen, or who to ask. I'll learn the ropes soon. Right now it's more important that I focus on Mom and her needs when I walk in the door.
I have learned it's the simple joys of life that matter - in some ways these folks are wiser than we are as they appreciate the smile, the holding of a hand, the short visit, the birds at the feeder, the kind words, and the gentle spirit of those who care for them. We can learn a lot from them if we forget about the rest of the world and just live in the moment.
Words of wisdom from Rosa, a resident at the nursing home. We were at the table waiting for supper. She was remarking that at some tables no one talks,while others talk too much. I made the remark "Just like real life" - she looked at me and said "Honey, this here is real life" --- truer words could not have been spoken.
Sometimes we have to learn what real life is by going to the nursing home.