Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Harvest of Peace

The PT asked me, "Does she use the call button? Is she confused and not remembering?" Mom K looked at me, probably wondering, as I was, how on earth I could answer that without hurting her feelings.
"Well Mom," I said addressing Mom K, "I think it is that you are not used to having to ask for help." I turned to the PT, "She has been on her own for a very long time, and I don't think it is that she doesn't remember so much as she finds it difficult to ask people she doesn't know to help her right now with such private things."
Mom K looked at me, and said, "Thank you."
"But I think she also knows that right now, for safety, she has to use the call button, but it is not easy for her. Right, Mom?"
"Right," she said, nodding.
Old people sometimes take a long time to respond. I think it is so important that they be given the chance to speak for themselves, and also that one never ever talk about them as though they are not in the room, not listening, not understanding. They say even people in comas can understand what is being said about them, though they cannot respond.

After her PT session, I took her to the lunchroom. Lunch was going full swing already. A group of 5 other women were gathered at her table. They all introduced themselves. Mom K has sat with them each meal, so I suspect this will be her group of friends. They seem so nice, so helpful. The waitress brought me the lunch and dinner menu and handed it to me.
"Would you like to help your mom choose what she would like?" she asked.
I took the menu and showed it to Mom K.
Jo, who seems a leader of the gaggle of women, said, "If you get the chicken, have them cut it up for her. It is much easier. You can just write that on the menu."
"Chicken or spaghetti...what do you think Mom?"
"What do you recommend?" she asked.
"Ladies," I said, "Is the spaghetti good?"
"Yes!" they all said.
"Ok," said Mom K, "I will have the spaghetti."
After helping her fill out the menu choices, I kissed her goodbye and took my leave, promising to bring Asherel back in the afternoon, maybe at 2:30 for the Fruit Smoothie hour. I thought Asherel might enjoy that.

This is a new world I am entering. I have had some experience with it, helping my old senior friend Comer, and so it is not frightening to me, like it is to some. But it is different when it is your own relative adjusting to a life that came on them, unexpected and undesired. All in all, Mom K seems to be adjusting, and seems to find the lovely facility pleasant. But I know it is not easy for her...not yet.

God never seems to let us settle long in too comfortable a place. It seems that while we do have an occasional draught of peace, most of life is dropping, rolling and tucking against the flames of adversity. When I have had a stretch of great blessing and good fortune, I start being vigilant. I know a season of struggle will soon be upon me. Invariably, that is the case.

As I left the building, the man who often sits on the porch waved to me, and mumbled something. I came close, "Excuse me? Did you need something?"
"I need a woman," he said.
I smiled and waved and headed to my car. Better people than I am would not have pretended they didn't quite hear correctly what he said. I thought perhaps I would let the nurse help the friendly man on the porch.

Hebrews 12:11-13 (NIV)
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. [12] Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. [13] “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

-save a dog-

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