Sunday, October 23, 2011

“What Are We Doing Here?”

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
Lao Tzu

That's the question Mom asked me this morning. Dad had a “soggy” sleep (the catheter came off! Ugh!) and Mom roamed the halls twice without her walker after an afternoon of vomiting. Let's say sleep deprivation is the rule for today.

I have to admit her question is valid. What are we doing here? After having spent six weeks in a rehab center with weekly demands by the center's administration centering around the same question. It's the same question I asked myself when I arrived at the decision to bring Mom & Dad home; rather than commit (and that is the correct term) them to a dementia unit, which the rehab center pushed. It's the same question I ask myself daily in terms of schedules, care, cooking and the state of the world in general. What ARE We Doing Here?

After replaying that question over and over in my head, I run through my 10 questions. It goes something like this:

Question 1: Do they know who I am? Answer: Yes
Question 2: Are they comfortable? Answer: Depends on the day.
Question 3: Do they have the services they need: Answer: Yes (more are on the way!)
Question 4: Do they know the day of the week? Answer: Yes (OK, for the most part)
Question 5: Am I happy? Answer: Yes and no (Each day brings a blessing; but.the work is hard & I miss traveling. )
Question 6: Do I have a life? Answer: Life? Maybe. Freedom? Not so much.
Question 7: Are they demanding? Answer: Yes...yes...yes! (Working at a Manhattan McDonald's during rush hour is a cake-walk compared to morning drive at this house.
Question 8: Can I do this? Answer: Well, I can go to my grave knowing that I tried.
Question 9: Will they be better cared for in a facility? Answer: I don't know. The Rehab Center didn't give me time to investigate other offerings. Just rubber-stamped them with dementia and quoted insurance rules.
Question 10: Is love still alive in this home? Answer: Yes!

I don't know what today will bring. The only things I do know is that they are home, after 64 years of marriage they still love each other, and hope springs eternal. That's what keeps me going.

Squeeze every living moment out of your day!

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