I wheeled down to mom’s room and the one nurse decided that it was time to get mom out of the big chair and into her bed.  One of the aids, big strapping girl and myself got mom up and started moving her toward the bed.

          Mom was having trouble walking, moving her feet and she seemed really out of it mentally.  We finally got her over to the bed and a got her laid down but I could tell something was not right.  Mom laid flat on her back and looked in distress.  The nurse came in and the nurse and aid moved mom around till she looked more comfortable but out of nowhere mom started coughing a cough that came from hell.  The look on her face was that of someone who was scared and dying.  I started to fall apart around The edges.  Tears were running down my cheeks.  Mom was choking to death on the fluids in her body.  She couldn’t speak, just hack.  They gave mom a breathing treatment which was a mask over her face and it seemed to help but the coughing was still there.  The nurse suggested that maybe I should go wheel around for a bit and come back.  I rolled out of mom’s room and when I hit the row headed for my room I was profusely crying.  This was the second time I thought to myself, “You are going to be there when she takes her last breath.”

          I only cried once over my father’s death and that was a couple months after and it was a cry of understanding at the screwed up relationship we had together and how I wasn’t able to do anything about it.

          Mom lives her life like all of her cats lived. She eats a few bites of food, sleeps, acknowledges my existence for a brief moment and then eats a few more bites of food.  I suppose it could be worse.  Actually it has been worse.

          I believe that when we are old or sick or both that our minds generate energies and directives that keep us alive on a survival effort.  The problem is that it is survival which entails that the efforts toward staying alive ae bassist developments.  Once we find ourselves in a hospital, rehabilitation or long term nursing facility those things that are wrong with are become more prevalent in this new environment because there is not the need of the stubborn will to live.

          I am witnessing this first hand with my mother right now.  When she first got here her energy level was high and she did not appear to be an eighty year old woman that had been living alone and neglected in a small house with cats.  Now that some time has passed and she has been cleaned up and medicated with therapy session she looks better but she is also now struggling with those ailments that were killing her and almost still did but she I getting better now or who knows maybe she’ll just take one of her afternoon naps and never wake up.  I believe with all my heart that it was right to bring her here.  She said it herself she know that day she called Nathan and told him it was time that it was time.  There was no fighting it anymore.

          Mom decided to also tell me of the house that she goes to at times.  She kept saying, “Everybody’s there and we’re all working and doing things together.  It’s where I take a shower too.  It all so strange.

          I find my dreams taking me to certain places that I have lived at where very different things are going on.  I wonder if there is a connection in this visual recreation of something familiar yet very different.

          The woman in the farthest room on our hall died today.  Cervical cancer.  If she would have terminated the pregnancy she would have lived.  As I wheel toward the center of the complex the creepy one legged man in the bright orange shirt has his phone up to the little woman in the reclining chair who has no control over her tongue and it’s playing religious music.  She stairs off into the emptiness like an animal tamed.  I have never understood a word this man mumbles.

          The one they call grandma here is wheeling around running into people and asking the questions.  She makes me so uncomfortable that I do everything possible to stay clear of her.  Her husband is here sitting at the table with the rest.  When she gets close enough to him he grabs her and kisses her like a teenager, like a dog marking his territory.  The round man watches it all and occasionally gives commentary.  He is called round man because he is perfectly round.

          Yes they are playing bingo in the cafeteria another soul is removed from the premises.

          Ah yes its David Lynch hour at the nursing home.  The beautiful misery is painting itself on the canvas of thick pungent air.  The delicate romance of the two with only two legs.  They dance through the halls in their wheelchairs as the audience which is always there and always the same applauds and desperately attempts to grab hold of anything that resembles real.

          Oh don’t get me wrong I’m a labeled case here too.  I am the recluse who has a room full of toys and only comes out to get something to drink or to check on his mother who is also at the nursing and is also a recluse.



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Comment by Zanelle on August 14, 2015 at 3:22pm

Ah, your poor mom, hacking cough with an oxygen mask on.  When I worked in a place like that we had people dying in one room and birthday parties in the next one.  The miracles and the tragedies seemed to blend.  Now I have the alone time I craved and yet it doesn't make me happy.  We always want to be some place else.  Im glad you are there with your toys and your mom and lots to write about.  Thank you for checking in here.

Comment by Carole Dixon on August 14, 2015 at 4:42pm
I feel a bit like I witnessed all of this. Such a real journey this is. So real and yet so unreal. You hang in there. You are there for your mother now. Real life up close.


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