Laundry Time…

They sit in their rooms… or lie in their beds… or sit in a common room… or wander through the halls…

They laugh, they talk, they cry, they babble…

Some are recovering from a hospital stay and will be going back to their homes and families and independence…

Some make perfect sense and know who and where they are…  most of the time…

Some live almost exclusively in their own little worlds…

They are the who-knows-how-many-people who live in elder care facilities… nursing homes… health care centers… assisted living facilities… Altzheimer’s units…  They are there because they have aged and need help in caring for themselves… maybe their memories are bad and they’d forget to take their medicine… or maybe they are too weak to stand or walk or dress themselves or go to the bathroom by themselves or (whatever)…

Maybe their family members need help to care for them… or maybe their family members just don’t want to be bothered…

They are our mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins, friends, neighbors…

Many of them have been forgotten by the world and by the very people that, not so long before, they loved and cared for with pride and joy…

My mother is in such a facility.  It’s a very nice place and Mom is cared for very well.  I visit her almost every day.  We were joking the other day about how she wouldn’t be able to pay her “laundry lady” (me) because that day she just happened to be a “little short of cash”…

And as we laughed and I told her that her credit was good enough for me, I was thinking what a privilege it was to be able to do such an easy and mundane thing as laundry for this incredible woman I call “Mom”… and that I was the one who would never be able to repay the debt…

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5 thoughts on “Laundry Time…”

  1. Oh, Jonelle! How I can identify with this blog. My mother has been in a nursing home since January 11, 2011. When we moved her there, we didn’t think she’d live more than a couple of months and she barely knew us! Now, she is almost 100% mentally while still being very weak physically. Her overall health is good but she will need care for the rest of her life. My sister and I would love to be able to care for her ourselves, but that’s just not possible financially (we both work and couldn’t afford to pay for someone to be with her all the time). But, Mother has frequently tol me, “I don’t want you to worry about me….they take very good care of me here.” That was music to my ears!

    Give your mother a big hug for me the next time you’re there.

  2. As you know, Jonelle, I had the responsibility of caring for my mom for four years. As difficult and challenging it was on many levels, I don’t regret a single minute of it. Having been through that experience and knowing you and your mom as well as I do, this post becomes an even more touching and true statement of human love.

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