Friday, March 19, 2010

The Visit - Part 2

The next day I called and left a message with the meal delivery service to get things started. She had driven up to a sidewalk once, so it would be in everybody’s interest if she doesn’t drive at all, or as little as possible. Right now she had to go out and eat everyday. She couldn’t stand or lift her arms too long after the fall. Her arms that once could’ve smacked me from here to China are no longer able to lift more than five pounds.

Nobody called back. A friend of hers insisted on treating us lunch. I was surprised to find the quality of food served there was much better than that in my town. Maybe I should move here and find a job here instead. Her friends told me how stubborn and independent mom was. I thanked them repeatedly for taking care of her in my absence. I don’t have such friends. Not that many anyway.

We took care of business at her bank on the third day so if anything happens to her…I avoid thinking any further.

Someone she knew at the bank suggested a senior facility for us to check out. This friend even went so far as to summon her friend, Mr. M, to go with us after work, as his father is a resident there and as luck would have it, Mr. M was going to visit him today. We were excited. Mom liked this town very much and was reluctant to move in with me, who lives nine hundred miles away with no grocery stores in walking distance.

She used guilt trip once to tell me she ‘had no choice but to move here’ to imply it was my fault that she now lived so far away, at which time I had to remind her that she decided to move here to be close to her brother’s family (with whom she no longer talks to) and I actually asked her not to move.

We had lunch and made a visit to the health consultant, who was a very nice and extremely helpful lady. She cleared up a lot of questions for us--namely me, and was glad to hear the bathe assistance was helpful to mom. All we need now is to find her 2008 tax return papers and inform her which facility mom likes the best. She will put mom on the waiting list as soon as she has those information.

Mom’s navigational skills led us to a different city instead of home. I tried to turn back but ended on a different highway instead. We visited my uncle’s grave since we were in the neighborhood, albeit completely accidental. She wasn’t going to take me here when I asked earlier, so I was glad we got lost.

Her grave site was in the same cemetery. A Wang’s family on her right. I found out they were her friends and they bought the lots together. I said some silent monologue to my uncle. The ground was covered with pale pink petals from a nearby cherry tree, and more were flying in the wind, teasing in my hair. Going home was much better this time--this is the only out-of-town route she knows how to travel and find her way home.

The sun was still out at five o’clock but the wind was cutting like cold blades. We waited on the sidewalk for her friend to pick us up to the senior facility. I kept moving so the cold wouldn’t get me. She sat on the stone wall as standing was too much for her. The doctor said she might have Parkinson’s disease, but she doesn’t shake. Her brother, the one we visited earlier, died from the same illness. It doesn’t look good for me.

The facility was a hit. It was clean, spacious, and overlooked a river. About thirty percent of their residents were from her country, so it’s possible she could make friends if she controls her temper. She said she had nice temper. I said no you don’t, and immediately wished I hadn‘t said so. Too late. She got mad and yelled at me.

I looked through the pamphlets for seniors needing assistance after dinner and the tears came out without warning. I cleaned myself up and went back to the pamphlets of walkers, wheelchairs, resource lists and happy pictures of seniors with smiling family members. The tears came out again. A few more times of this and I gave up. I couldn’t read a word through pools of water.

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  1. Sadly, this can never be a beautiful story. It's the honesty that delivers the punch. Keep it coming, Miss Sarah.

  2. I agree with Bruce. So much truth and honesty.

  3. Sarah ~ Is this about you and your mother? I am so hooked. It reminds me of my life is so many ways. Going to read the rest.



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