After Ariel picked Grace up this afternoon, I went to pick up Emily from school. Then, I assisted with acclimating Granny in the “Rehab” center today. At least that’s what we call it. Emily went with me. Her son and his wife did a lot of paperwork in an office room. Aunt Juanita and I talked to Granny. She tried to be brave. We left and I knew it was not okay in her mind. Aunt Juanita knew it, too.
Today is 03/13/13….National Butterfly Day. Granny loves butterflies. Perhaps that’s where Moma learned to love them so. Today, a special butterfly landed on Bluegrass Care and Rehab. I only hope they recognize her beauty.
I took Emily to George’s house. Daisy, too…She had sat in the truck, Daisy did, for the two hours that we were in the nursing home. So patient. Emily played hand games with a patient who was rolling by in a wheelchair and by doing so made the lady smile and Aunt Juanita smile, too. She was terribly disappointed when a nurse came behind the strange lady and guided her away.
I ran by Aunt Juanita’s and picked up Granny’s Bible and glasses. Aunt Juanita was very worried about her sister. She expressed her gratitude regarding me stopping and talking with her for a while. This is not easy. And we decided that every time we worry about Granny, we will pray instead. She had me take pictures of her making a face at Granny hoping to cheer her. I did…and as she stuck her tongue out allowing me to take a photo of her, I thought, sisters…only sisters would do something like this to cheer each other.
And then I went back…to the Rehab…and as I walked in the door, my granny was in a wheel chair at the nurse’s desk and the looks on all the five that were standing there made me think Granny was conducting a “come to Jesus” meeting. She wanted to leave. She was angry. She wanted them to call her son. They had a wrong number and couldn’t. I gave them the correct number and they dialed and handed the phone to me. I looked at them like it was a dangerous object and handed it off to Granny. When he answered she set him straight, too. After a couple of minutes he must have asked if anyone was there with her…cause she looked at me and said, “What’s your name!?” “Donna”, I answered, “Granny, Donna.” She went back to the conversation and said, “Donna is here with me, Donna Lynn!!!” Then she went back to telling him how he needed to come pick her up and how she’s of age.
I asked they give her something to calm her as at night she experiences anxiety and confusion. And I got her to take it. She chased it with a bite of homemade chocolate cake I had brought in with me. She allowed me to stroll her back to the room and we chatted as the medicine began to work. But it didn’t work fast enough…she begged me to take her home. She told me of all the people she thought I would be the one to look after her. She cried and cried about being scared. She cried and talked about how lonely the room was. I scooted her close and hugged her as she cried. She begged me to get her out of there. And it went on for a long time as the medicine kicked in she was able to listen to what I had to say. And even though she refused me to help her prepare for bed, she started to calm. Then the nurses came in for the head to toe assessment. For 50 minutes Granny cried, screamed and moaned as they removed bandages and replaced them after assessment. She is a frail woman…her skin hurts so badly. I think since she’s 90 and had never been hospitalized her entire life till this past week, had never visited the doctor regularly…no series of tests in her life, etc, I think it makes this whole experience even more traumatic. She had hoped to avoid it. And for 90 years, she did. It was hitting her like a tidal wave now…and she just didn’t have the experiences to help her cope. She asked me repeatedly, after the assessment, “Who’s going to stay with me? You aren’t leaving me alone?” “I’ll remember this,” she told me. I told her I had to get Emily in bed. But I would be back in the morning. I told her about Aunt Juanita (Yes, I showed her the photos earlier and she made the face back at Aunt Juanita as if they were face to face….sisters) but I told her about how Aunt Juanita and I were thinking every time we worry we should pray instead. And I told her I didn’t want her to stress…”no more stressing, Granny. It’s not good for you,” I told her. She closed her eyes and said, “I know stress makes mess.” I wanted to take her home with me, but instead I bent over and kissed her forehead and told her I loved her and would see her in the morning.
And I left.
And I cried.
And I prayed.
I had to get it together to pick up Emily and Daisy from George’s. I didn’t mention…during the assessment, Granny cried out, “Don’t let the little kids see me like this.” I assured her Emily was at home that she was not in the room. Protecting. That’s what she was doing…that’s just what we do. Even in our pain.
It’s almost 9:30 and we are all three heading back to the 100 Acre Woods when I realize I have no milk for cereal in the morning. Too exhausted to get out at a store, I drove through the Wendy’s drive through and ordered milk. I realized I hadn’t had dinner, Emily had eaten with Papa. So I got some food, too, since I was there. Two vehicles in front of me. I just wanted to get home. My safe place. Finally when I got to pull up to the window, the big black truck in front of me slowly pulling away, the worker explained to me this:
“Ok,” he said, “there seems to be a string of good deeds going on here tonight. The one in front of the truck paid for the one in the truck behind him. The truck behind him paid for yours. So, you don’t owe anything.”
I immediately looked behind me, feeling desperate, as there was no one waiting. “But I don’t have anyone behind me so I can carry it on!”
He said, “That’s okay, don’t worry about it.” I sat there for minutes hoping someone would pull in. Emily was thrilled. I was grateful. Grateful that I had a gentle reminder that God cares. That He allowed me to be ministered to at a time when I felt so beat and spent. That I had to accept the gift and couldn’t repay it so quickly…that it was suppose to stop with me…to take care of me…to speak to my heart.
And tomorrow, I can wake up and began again…creating good, bringing happiness to others, using what I have to show I care….
Tomorrow, I’ll pay it forward. Tonight, I will sleep and remember He cares…and will go out of His way to show it.