It is harder to make myself drive in the winter. I find myself thinking about the nursing home application in the file drawer. I think about all the others that make themselves drive when they don't want to, and it encourages me to go. So, like you, I will go again.
We did a visit to the home (early July) when she first realized she should not live in her own home anymore. Alcohol has made her life challenging there and the last binge had filled her with unsaid fears. I can see it and hear it when she speaks of how she should not return home anymore.
My sister called, "We need to find a place for Mom, maybe a home? She can't live in her house anymore." I agreed. My very good friend Myrtle said, "Oh bring her here, she will love it here!" "Here" is a home with in-house 24-hour assistance and freedom - residents are free to come and go.
She would have her own private room with access to many services she may need (including nurses who administer shots beautifully); she would have three meals a day prepared for her; in the last few weeks as I've watched her health/strength fail something else I am growing to love - emergency care at a moments notice if she needs it.
Even though this home is too far from my home (one hour) I loved it. I loved the staff and I thought she would love it too... but when we got back to my home she asked, "Can I just live with you? I am afraid of those people."
"Those people" ?
I thought back to the tour of the home. I remembered the jigsaw puzzle corners. The private telephone areas. The sitting rooms with open windows over so many blooming roses. The tame birds that look amply fed. The fish that slowly sailed in their tank. The nurses roaming the halls visiting with each other and their friend-residents. I remembered watching that cat walk in and out of resident rooms looking for a gentle scratch (she had become every ones cat). I remembered the resident cars in the parking lot and how I felt relieved that Mom could come to stay here at my home whenever she wanted to. I remembered how restful I felt knowing she would be cared for every day and... night.
I smiled and I said, "Of course Mom, you can live with us as long as you want to."
I love my Mom. I want her to be happy and comfortable. I don't want her to be somewhere that she does not feel comfortable. I asked that God will give me strength to drive, and courage to care for her each day. I ask that God will strengthen and heal family ties to my brothers and my sisters, between my brothers and sisters, all because I know that this would bring joy to her heart. I ask that God would bring her children to see her, to be a comfort her in what nags at my heart are probably her last years here with us. I also have asked that God would fit her into my own husband and childrens lives - beautifully. That her quiet fears would be vanquished and she would be able to accept "those people" that make her feel threatened. Fears that she has not spoken of but I know are there each time she hurries off to her bedroom. I thank God that I have been given a time to learn to be a helper to my Mom ...what ever that may mean. He will give me the wisdom and strength to accomplish each task, pleasant or hard. I ask that my eyes will be opened to the joys that having a Mom like her brings each day and that we would laugh and love more and then be closed to those things that irritate.
Today I stand and watch the threatening snow clouds and I know I will have to drive myself and Mom and I will both experience a new way to get a shot today: For the first time - me giving it, and my Mom getting it from her daughter.
Again I softly hear whispered words: You... "can do all things through Christ who will strengthen you."