August 23, 2005
As our families get older, and our parents too, they begin this descent into aging that is not always neat or pretty or easily fixed.

I remember visiting my grandfather in the old folk's home when I was little. It terrified me. From my child-eyes, it would be a place filled with scary souls who wandered the halls and called you names that weren't yours. I remember the hushed conversations between my Mom and her sisters over what was happening to 'Daddy'. He would often escape, and we'd find him somewhere lost. Every time, it was the same story - he was looking for his long lost son. In the end, he was transferred to a home that had stricter security so that he wouldn't wander off.

Those were sad times, long ago and ones I hadn't thought of in many years.

Recently, my friend's mom has reached the age that she can no longer be at home on her own. She is 91, and one of the toughest old girls you'll ever meet. She and her boyfriend have been together for 30-some odd years but as she's vowed never to marry again, she refused to allow him to live with her either. So Charlie dutifully has kept an apartment a few blocks away, and they spend the days together but he always goes home at night. We all find it a bit funny - however, if truth be told, I appreciate her tenacity.

So she lives on her own, and her closest daughter - my friend - lives about 45 minutes away. However her daughter runs a business as well as helping to raise her grandchildren so her life is quite full. The other children live out of town, so the burden falls on my friend.

Last Monday, Nana fell. Sometime in the middle of the night. No one has any idea and Nana doesn't remember. By the time Charlie found her, she was unconscious with a very weak pulse, and had broken her pelvis. She did have a 'I've fallen and I can't get up' button but they're only good if you can manage to push the button.

The hospital diagnosed pneumonia as well, and last week, things did not look good at all. They signed a DNR order, the other family members gathered and expected the worst.

On Thursday, Nana woke up. Wanted to know when she could go home. Feisty and argumentative, she would have none of this hospital business. The pelvis, by this point, was stabilized. Because of her age, there was nothing they could do except keep her comfortable.

So now begins the search for a home. My friend has no room for her at her house, and there is no possibility of her being able to care for herself. They looked yesterday into having a night nurse, but at upwards of $100 a night for someone for all intents and purposes to watch her sleep is a bit extreme.

All the while, Nana is having none of it. She's going home and that's all there is to it. Suggest something slightly different and you'll get a bear attack. She may be getting frail physically, but mentally, not in the slightest.

I talked to my Mom about it last night, and it brought back a lot of memories of what happened with her father.

'You know we lied to him, don't you?', she said, her voice still catching after all these years.

'No, Mom, I was a kid. What happened?'

'Well, we told him it was a convalescing home. That he would be back as soon as he was better. He knew we lied. I could see it in his eyes.'

So I told her I wouldn't lie to her. I told her if her or Dad ever got to this stage, I would either move in with them, or them with me. I'm single and the only daughter. They have done so much for me that I can't imagine not being there for them when they need it.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from cdnsue. Make your own badge here.

Steal this button and link to me!
Turning thirty and a half
  • July 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006

  • The WeatherPixie