I went to the nursing home today, as I do many Sundays, to feed Mom lunch and take her for a walk around the nursing home. Getting her out and around makes me feel like I did something good for her. She spends her days in the same part of the nursing home, confined to her wheelchair. When I push her out through the big, heavy doors to “see” the halls beyond, somehow, I feel as though I’ve accomplished something for her in her day.
The thing about those walks, which I now take on a regular basis, is how the staff at the home respond to my mom. Love-filled “Tobe”s fill the air as people stop to say hello to her. Staff that didn’t move with her when she was placed in the relocated locked down portion of the home are so happy to see her, to talk to her, and to share their favorite “Tobe stories.” Today, the CNA who stopped to say hello told of a time that Mom escaped her lock down by smiling in a flirty way with a handsome employee who didn’t realize Mom had to stay behind the door she was trying to exit. She laughed so hard as she reminisced about that escape.
The other night, my husband and I went to see her and feed her dinner. After dinner, we went for a walk with Mom. I wanted to show him how much her former wing had been totally transformed since she moved two years ago. As we slowly made our way through that hall, I suddenly heard someone calling loudly from behind a glass window, “Tobe, Tobe…” I looked all around me until I realized that a CNA who had worked with my mom for years was running towards us wearing the biggest smile. We embraced with such a warm, loving hug. She had always been so kind and loving to Mom. That is when she told me she had just been looking at some photographs of Mom the other day and missed her so much. It warmed my heart to see the connection she has with my mother. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are loving, caring CNAs with Mom now, but this woman’s love radiates from her entire being. You can see how much my mother touched her life and how much she genuinely loves my mom. I love her for that! These walks are really good for both Mom and me.
By the way, the good news is that Mom’s renal failure is no longer acute. It is just mild now, which means she is doing well. I wish she could still walk around, but it is what it is, so we’ll go on with acceptance from here.