Sunday, May 27, 2007

The N Word

Mama J. mentioned the N word this week-nursing home. Gulp. While we don't deny that could very well be in her and Papa T.'s future, we don't think we're there yet. In fact, we're working really hard to keep a move to the nursing home or assisted living facility at bay. One day at a time, that's our motto. Some days are easier than others, and their house isn't really built for disabled senior citizens, but we're doing all we can to keep them in their home for a little longer. So far, it's working. We know how difficult leaving their home of 40 years would be, so we don't like to talk about it. That's why it was so surprising that she said it. Nursing home. It's a heavy word. It just sits in the mouth like a piece of cardboard to be chewed and chewed and choked down whole with a nauseating aftertaste. Assisted living. Hmm. That's a little easier to swallow.

They're not really ready to go either, and some probing conversation revealed that she brought it up only because she was feeling especially low about her health and guilty about the time we spend taking care of them. An improvement in her latest kidney issue and some reassurances from us have put her fears on hold...for now. But perhaps we should start researching facilities now so we can be prepared if and when the time comes. That's because we have some firm requirements in a facility that takes care of them.

Oh, we'll want to make sure they get the best medical care possible, but we have other concerns, too. Is ice cream available at 9 o'clock each night? Preferably, butter pecan. Turner Dairy brand. Not the cheap stuff. How about crackers crumbled up in a glass of milk to help with tummy troubles? A wash and set on Saturday mornings is nonnegotiable, and a satin pillow to maintain that hairdo throughout the week is important. Is the phone available at all times to catch up on what's going on with the kids, grandkids, neighbors, old friends, acquaintances and others? How about a weekly outing to Cracker Barrell? Are Moon Pies available 24/7? Will you tolerate loud profanities and jumping up and down by Papa T. when U.K. is on the losing end of a ballgame? Can diamonds be worn to dinner? Do you serve margaritas at least once a month? No salt, to keep the leg swelling down, but premium tequila, please. Is Arbonne lipstick sold in the gift shop?

That's just the beginning. I should start making a list now. It could take a while to find a place that serves top shelf margaritas.


janjanmom said...

I love you Hula girl for the way you honor your parents and Hula boy's (bet he's never been called that before, time out for laughing)parents. You are setting a huge example for the teen drama queen.

Mia said...

oh hulagirl, loved your post. My grandmother (93)lives just a few houses from me. That was planned because we are trying to keep her in her home as LONG as possible. It is a daily thing and everyone in the my family helps. I took her on a walk in her wheelchair the other day and that is the same walk she took me on in my stroller 41 years ago!!!! Bless you for making their lives so special. And you forgot one thing on your list......a daily dusting of "White Shoulders" powder, followed by the lotion and perfume!!
: )

hulagirlatheart said...

You are correct janjanmom, he's never been called Hula boy, but I kind of like it. And thanks Mia for sharing. I loved hearing about your grandmother. What a blessing to be able to share moments like that with her. And you are correct. I did leave off the "White Shoulders". :)