Sunday, April 25, 2010

What Did You Say?

This weekend my daughter and son-in-law were up for a visit. While my husband and sil were doing manly things like getting haircuts together and figuring out how to put a 22 back together correctly, my daughter and I made two brief visits to see my mom. Mom is in an assisted living facility not far from where we live. Even though mom has hearing loss and memory loss, she is still very much who she has always been. She has a keen sense of humor, a big heart and a strong will. She told my daughter yesterday,"I will love you from now until eternity." Something my daughter and I will never forget.
It is interesting to hear some of the conversations going on around us. Yesterday, a lady at the table in the dining room next to where my mom was sitting was quite perturbed with a gentleman sitting next to her. He tapped her on the arm to talk to her as the other lady at the table was dozing. She said, "I don't think it's right for you to touch me like that." The poor guy kind of shrunk back and we felt so sorry for him. All he wanted to do was chat. Today the same lady was wheeling herself toward another resident's room. The lady who lived in that room said, "This is my room. That is my name on the door. I bought it and you need to go to your own room. Do you know where your room is?" The lady in the wheelchair responded that she didn't know where her room was. The lady saying that was her room must have misheard what she said because she said to the wheelchair-bound woman,"You swallowed it?! I don't think you can swallow a whole room!"
The other day, one of the nurses told me that my mom was sitting in her recliner and her roommate, who mumbles a lot, was in her recliner. The nurse walked in to hear mom's roommate saying something which could not possibly be understood to which my mom replied, "I understand what you're talking about." The nurse said to me that she was glad someone understood. What is funny about that is even if mom's roommate were speaking clearly, my mom's hearing problem, not to mention the memory loss, would have prevented any type of communication.
I am finding that each time I go visit I enjoy the fun comments. The people are very happy in this home. They receive excellent care. They maintain their dignity and they care about each other. Just like you and me, there are times when they get their feathers ruffled. The good news is those times are quickly forgotten. A friend from high school wrote this quote in our senior yearbook, "The power of remembering may be a gift, but the power to forget is a blessing." What did you say? Let's hope we remember the fun and the profound comments of life and let's hope to forget the sticks and stones.

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