She was there. My Pops had just been transferred from the hospital to enter the uncertain life as a nursing home resident. In the short span of his first week he was busted from the fifth floor to the fourth because he needed additional looking after. Which I learned really meant that my dad in his confusion would sometimes enter other patients rooms and well, wreak havoc. He didn’t mean any harm but nonetheless disturbances of any kind can have a very negative effect on the frail and/ or elderly who are just trying to have a little peace in their lives. I wasn’t happy the staff wanted to move my Pops but I understood so with minimal crabbing from me I helped the CNA move my dad to his new digs. She was there.
Our first meeting is difficult for me to recall, not because I have memory issues but more from the level of stress I hadn’t yet sorted out. Everything that was happening to Dad and I still hadn’t sunken into my thought process. I was feeling so overwhelmed and beaten. I felt numb. She was there. Her name is Kathy. Her hubby was one of the residents at my Dad’s new “home”. She was friendly and talkative. I felt comfortable in her presence from that first moment. She showed me around the fourth floor and gave me a few pointers about the staff, the meal times, how to control the heat in Dad’s room, where to find extra linens. By reaching out to me she changed that moment of fear for me. I relaxed a little and I felt a wave of relief I was sure was never going to come.
I am sure she has no idea how much that day changed me. It changed the way I view my Dad’s living situation. It changed the way I am towards other people who have loved ones suffering from illnesses and dementia. Even though each of our battles are unique to us we are all in the same war; fighting to give our loved one the best “rest of their lives”. My Pops was only at his first nursing home for two weeks when a bed became available closer to my home in a better environment. I jumped at the opportunity. I am not sorry that I moved Pops. We are both happier and healthier now. Kathy’s hubby has moved as well into a better living arrangement. I couldn’t be happier for them both.
Kathy and I keep in touch as much as possible, gotta love the interwebs, and today we went to lunch. I had a wonderful time. Thank you Kathy for being the light of hope I needed so badly that day. Never forget that one person can change the world. Never underestimate what you mean to someone else.
Trish = )