Can I have a bouquet for the new resident?

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Patricia,
We have a new resident coming here to live this afternoon…….oh wait, there she is. Can I have a bouquet to welcome her?

Hmmm. Leaving your home. Never going back to your familiar kitchen to make the family favorite of ham and mashed potatoes, sleeping in your own bedroom and having tea with your friendly neighbors.

What is it like to know that you are going to spend the rest of your life in a place with strangers with a room-mate in the bed next to you, separated by a curtain?

Eating in a big dining room. Putting behind the days when you baked Pinwheel cookies and Lemon Doodles.

Now you need help to get undressed, get in and out of bed, and go to the bathroom. Help to take a shower. Leaving your Home Sweet, Home…..forever.

That must be an impossibly hard thing to do. Not going into a fancy retirement village. No, this nursing home was a nursing home…..and you can picture it. No concierge or chandeliers in the dining room. Not a time for smiles. More like tears after your family leaves.

Get out of a car with a suitcase containing a few belongings and just enough clothes to fit into a small closet. Leave the place that was a safe harbor for your family. Where you kept your kids safe and warm. Where you knew every nook of the house. How you cleaned with mops and brooms when company was coming. Where your old friends stopped by and sat on the old porch swing. All of the bits and pieces of that life behind you. Just memories.

It may not have been a fancy home. Your own home is beautiful to you. The cornerstone of your life. And today is the day that your family drives you to a nursing home.

My prayers are for her. The reason that I can picture this and feel the pain is that my dear aunt went into a nursing home last night……and said, “How did it come to this? That I am going to spend the rest of my life here.”

I watched the activity director hand her the lovely flowers but I wish that I could tell her that she could go back home. I wish I could hand my aunt the keys to her house but her health has failed to the point that the family can’t take care of her at home…..although they did the absolute best that they could.

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