Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Good Day

Wednesday, August 10, 2100 

A Good Day

On Wednesday, I went to see my mom in the dementia unit where she lives and she was not there. She had gone on a picnic. “Wow,” I thought. “She actually went.” “Oh yes,” said one of the nurse assistants. “She wanted to go.”

That moment made me want to look back over the last three months since she had arrived in Denver from Chicago and think about the progress she has made despite her circumstances. In the unit where she resides (the second since she moved here), she has found comfort in those who surround her---the other residents whose maladies run the dimentia gamut, the cheerful nurse assistants who dress them, bathe, them, feed them and usher them to their various activities, and the marvelous activity director whose gentleness and interest makes them all feel needed and loved.

Though it’s not easy at the age of 90 to be uprooted from family and friends from a city where one has resided for seventy years and to face a sea of strange surroundings and new people, I think, though she cannot talk, that she is making the best of it and for that I am not only proud but grateful.

I am struck by moments of visiting Mom and actually having a good time. We’ve sung karaoke together and played the piano together, attempted word puzzles together and visited with some of the other residents together.

Of course, there have been some not so wonderful things as well, i.e. a trip to the emergency room at 4:30 in the morning after she fell and gashed her head, the countless times I’ve come to visit and wound up taking her to the bathroom, the call I got during the first few weeks and another report of some aggression toward others.

My philosophy is to try to take one day at a time and be happy when there's a good one.  That was today.

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