Thursday, June 10, 2010


Ya' know that old trees just grow stronger,
And old rivers grow wilder ev'ry day,
Old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say, "Hello in there, hello."

My sister, the eldest, has had the unenviable task of taking care of the 'Old Folks'.  First my father, then her father-in-law, then her mother-in-law.  They all had calamitous illness or accidents before they died and the nearest "full-service" hospital for those maladies is 25 miles away.  I made it home as much as possible, but my sister, Auntie Bo, as we call her, took the brunt of taking care of things.  It just was what it was and she didn't complain.
Now it is my mother.  Bo has worked very hard to enable her to live at home, at 89, in a wheelchair and suffering from a series of ailments that are all serious, but none live threatening.  And that has come to an end.  I got the email last night.  There were complications.  She is at the hospital in LaCrosse.  This time there will be no more coming home.  There just isn't anyone who can provide her with the care she needs at home.  The visiting nurse and the home care aide just cannot keep up.

Arrangements have been made for a nursing home after she leaves the hospital and with good graces, she will.  We plan on keeping the house for awhile, a few months anyway.  The idea is that the nursing home is only a few blocks from where her house is and  is equipped with ramps and a few years back one of the bedrooms was converted to wheelchair access, hopefully to allow her to come 'back home' for a few hours when weather and help are agreeable.

It is what it is.  There is a sadness that is inescapable in the whole process.  I have some antiques that were left there, a bedroom set, and old dining set, some chairs.  I will have to move them. Some other things we will sell and I have made plans to go for a week or two to paint and repair various things that have been neglected for awhile, mostly sundry window trim painting and garden maintenance, before we have the house put up for sale this fall.
It is what it is.

I guess there is no point in being overly morose.  She has had a full life and she filled it as much as she could with  laughter, love, and lightness.  It gave her many friends.
Leaving the house will hurt her and is right now causing her a lot of grieve; as Auntie Bo writes,

"this of course has been very stressful because she is being cheerful for the nurses but is on the verge of tears. It is so unfair that her life has been so sucky and I guess if there were a god, I would be mad at him.  Feel free to send cards. I think she will be there a while."

So if you're walking down the street sometime
And spot some hollow ancient eyes,
Please don't just pass 'em by and stare
As if you didn't care, say, "Hello in there, hello."
 I have to go buy stamps.


Sherry Peyton said...

Oh Jim, I am so terribly sorry. These things are always so sad, and inevitable usually. There is no good answer ever. Just know that my prayers are with you and your family for whatever that might mean to you. Memories are the best antidote at times like this. Relish them and all the ones that may remain.

Lisa said...

She has had a full life and she filled it as much as she could with laughter, love, and lightness. It gave her many friends.

What a wonderful thing to be able to say about someone. I'm thinking of you, Jim.

okjimm said...

Sherry..Lisa... thanks for the thoughts. Getting an update later tonight.

David Barber said...

Jimm, I remember your post a couple of months ago about your mum. She's quite a woman. Please, say 'hello' to her from me. Best wishes, my friend.

Randal Graves said...

Half of oneself speaks of someone having a good life, the other half fears the inevitable, and that push and pull always makes it tough. Hang in there, man.

aaaa said...

great places my names mark

Karen Zipdrive said...

My siblings and I went through a similar situation with my mom, who passed away quietly in her sleep at age 93.
I feel for you, OKJ.

sunshine said...

I guess it's never easy to have to leave your home and have to go live with strangers. If we live long enough, I suppose it comes to most of us though.
Your Mum may still be around for a long time to provide you with lot's of smiles and laughs. :)
Wishing her all the best in this new
phase of her life.


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