Wednesday, May 09, 2007

nursing home  

posted by Michael Piwonka 8:07 PM
With Mom's deteriorating health and memory, she requires constant care and attention. Since none of us kids can provide the attention she needs, we put her in a nursing home in Caldwell, Texas.

I believe that Mom was actually glad to go there, simply because it meant she would be back in Caldwell. While she would probably prefer to still live on the farm that was our home, she is aware that she needs help, and she is also afraid to be alone. The nursing home represents a good compromise between being in Caldwell and having assistance. Being in Caldwell puts her close to friends and family in that part of Texas.

When I called her the other day, she was, as always, happy to hear from me. She told me many times that she was so glad that I called. Indicative of her failing memory, however, she said that, of all her kids, I call her the most; the truth is we siblings take turns calling Mom, ensuring that she gets many phone calls. But I hope that that's what she feels when each of her children call her, that they are the ones who care enough to call often.

It was sad for me. Mom is caught between the life she used to live, a life full of energy and activity, and the one she now finds herself living, a life of declining physical and mental capabilities.

Mom realizes her situation, and in her typical fashion, feels guilt for all the attention she requires. As she told me during our call, she had spent the majority of her life taking care of others, whether it was her siblings, or her children, or her ailing husband. Now that she needs care, or as she put it, pampering, she doesn't know how to handle it. Ever humble, ever meek, she can't accept that she might have earned her right to be pampered.

She mentioned, as she has numerous times before, that she is very proud of her children. Ultimately, their happiness is her happiness. I think that satisfies her, rewarding her for a life well lived.


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