Thursday, November 30, 2006

Love Thursday--Love is Having Someone to Spend Time With:

Grandma Dorothy moved in with us nearly two years ago when her last cargiving-capable family member died. My husband had been friends with her brother, and had grown to know Dorothy well over the years. The last few years with her previous caregiver she did not receive the best care, and we often ranted that we ought to just go get her and have her live with us. And then the opportunity presented itself. I think in hindsight I kind of steamrolled my husband into taking her in--it's a big decision to take in a disabled elderly person, especially when there's no blood tie--but I haven't regretted it. Still mentally active but completely bedridden, the only option for her would be a medicare nursing home, and I've been to enough of those in my time to NOT want that except as a last resort.
But, sometimes I wonder about the quality of life she has here. We have a nice yellow-brick-road-yellow room for her; she's surrounded with her own personal effects and family photos; she has her phone and her television and the sun comes in in the morning to flood the room with light. But ours is a three-story townhouse and her bedroom is alone at the bottom of the house. All of the living takes place above her head. Some days I manage to get down and sit with her for an hour, other days the only person to person interaction she gets is a couple of minutes three-four times again when passing on food. We moved her away from her church community of 60+ years to a place an hour away and she just doesn't get many visitors. She has her telephone friends, and a companion aide who comes in for 2 hours 2x a week, but--and especially at the holidays--it's still a solitary life.
Until this week, anyway. Roran was a Christmas present I got myself. But he's adopted Dorothy's hospital bed as home base. When he's not out exploring the house, he's on her. She's mom. He sleeps on her legs, rests on her shoulder, plays with her fingers, wakes her up by chewing on her glasses when he wants attention, and listens intently to all she has to say. I know as he grows older and becomes more indepenedent he'll probably not spend as much time with her (16 hours yesterday, by my calculations), but oh how I hope he does! Because she's SO happy to have a friend. And sometimes love is just having a friendly face to talk to.


For more Love Thursday Posts, visit Chookoolonks or the Love is all around us Flikr Pool.






11 Comments:

At 6:12 AM, Blogger Cakes said...

oh yay! What a great addition to the family!

 
At 6:29 AM, Anonymous shaz said...

wow, that is amazing that you and your husband are doing that! I often wonder if I would have the patience to even take care of my own parents! take care!

 
At 8:57 AM, Blogger Cate said...

That is a wonderful story. You and your husband are raising better kids because of this kindness. And your cat seems content!

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger Lucy said...

Such a sweet story.

 
At 11:30 AM, Blogger txmommy said...

he's a sweet little thing.
It's so nice of you to have Dorothy I'm sure she feels that way too and what a great example you are to your kids. Thanks for sharing

 
At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Sophie said...

That is an awesome thing you are doing. And kudos to the kitty, too!

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger PastorMac's Ann said...

Perhaps he knows that she needs a friend! What a cutie he is! Great post - thanks for sharing it with us.

 
At 12:38 AM, Blogger meredith said...

I was very touched by this example of love, the cat and his friend, but especially what you and your husband have done by opening up your home to Grandma Dorothy.

 
At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Michelle said...

How wonderful that you have opened your home like that! I have always thought that animals sort of knew our needs better than we do ourselves at times. I wouldn't doubt that the cat will often opt for her company evan as independance grows.

 
At 5:47 PM, Blogger Waya said...

I believe that "what comes around goes around" for all the good deed that you're doing for your Grandma. Thanks for sharing this with us.

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger witheringintuition said...

This is such a lovely story. I don't know you or your family, but I am touched that you reached out to your community in this way. I have seen how life in nursing homes can be and I would bet that Dorothy is much happier with you especially now with her new friend. This is why I love Love Thursday. It reminds me that there are so many good people in the world!

 

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