Mom has not been to the White Spot restaurant for quite some time now. So.. I brought White Spot to her. An outing to White Spot was a treat before the glaucoma reared its ugly head. A good cup of coffee and a muffin or piece of pie. Or a white spot hamburger with lots of mushrooms. Hmmm, so good. Comfort food-a great White Spot hamburger with coleslaw, fries and lots of ketchup.
Being a fine spring day, I thought a treat for Mom would be chicken strips and salad. (Easy to tear up, small bites and sauce to dip the chicken in.) Delicious! Mom loved every morsel. There was still a bite of “Burnt Almond dark chocolate” hidden away for a sweet dessert treat. She enjoyed the chocolate the most. Of course! “Oh, there is some left!” she said, surprised at the very idea of some left. (I hid it well so she could not eat it all in one day.)
I curled her hair as we listened to music. She is a little tired. Another great thing about the change in medications is the edema in her legs. Thankfully the swelling has gone down. Now her legs look like “mom’s legs” and her face has lost the puffiness. Sitting in a wheelchair all day must be horrendous for a once very active and social woman.
As children, we all have an imprint of our mother and father stamped on our brains. As we age, it is especially difficult to see our parents in their final years. For mother to be 93 is most amazing to us. To watch her endure these last few years, confined to a wheelchair, blind and very little contact with family or friends has been heartbreaking. Where did that strong willed, feisty, woman go? The one who survived two husbands passing, two families to raise, lose of her own mother, taking on the role of “mother/sister” to her younger brothers and sister, the death of a daughter and death of her dreams. In a word she is a survivor.
There are many days where she must endure. A new endurance for a very private woman is a male aid worker taking care of the most private rituals of daily cleansing. To have a male aid pick out her clothes for the day and dress her is sometimes more than she can endure. Yet, she does. If I would request a female care worker only the response would be very negative. After all, this is the day of equality in the work place. There is no such thing as female aid workers for female residents. To suggest elderly men and women should have a measure of dignity in their private care is often forgotten. There seems to be no concern for honoring their dignity. Has everything come down to the bottom line? The profit margins? The shareholders? Where is the compassion to give an elderly woman the gift of dignity? Mother’s grandson Larry has expressed the same wishes. Unfortunately, we live in an era where equality takes priority.
Well, that was an interesting last few paragraphs. That is what happens when I free write. A comment from mama triggered the subject of dignity. I asked mom why she did not have a slip on under her dress. The response was a man dressed her this morning, which explains the lack of undergarments. “I hate him” she said. That statement says it all.
Life throws us curve balls. How we handle the curve balls is a testament of endurance and grace.
I hope I have the grace and endurance should I ever have to endure such loss.
“… your sorrow will be turned to joy”