The second day I was there we headed to the nursing home to see our mother. It was too late the first day once we got back to town from the airport.
So I wondered if my mother would remember me because much can happen in five years, especially for one who’s losing her mind. We were lucky enough to persuade my youngest brother to meet us there for a few minutes, so Mama was about to be very surprised with four of her seven kids visiting her.
Part of the family. Standing from left: me, my youngest brother, Alden, two of my sisters, Bonni and Tedo. My mother is seated.
When we arrived she was in therapy. The nurses helped her with her walker as they saw us all standing there waiting for her. She had a big smile on her face as she looked at us. At first she thought that I was Tedo, but then realized with Tedo asking her “who’s your oldest daughter?” Her smile got bigger and she came over and hugged me tight. I was as happy as she was. She remembered me the rest of the time I was there. We went to see her almost every day and stayed a good part of the day and sometimes into the evening. We did take her out twice for family gatherings, Mother’s Day and the family barbecue mentioned earlier. More on that later.
This is the facility dining room
The nursing home my mother is in is a very small one with lots of help and they’re all so nice. The kitchen help came out to talk to us, as well as the administrator and the housekeepers and, of course, the nurses in each hall. There are three wings in the building, but it’s only about fifty eight beds. The place is very clean. And Mama has made friends there and seems to like it very much. There were a few times, of course, that she wanted to go with us as we were getting ready to leave. That was expected, but she has a very nice room with family photos on the wall. And she’s by a window where my sisters placed a bird feeder outside, so she can watch the birds if she wants to.
This is my mother's bedroom
Most of the time is spent in the dining room though where they hold some of the activities and the social time. A TV is there also for anyone wanting to watch television. There’s a separate room for activities in the facility as well. It includes a small library for all the readers and a hair salon.
It seems Mama is a wiz at bingo and has all the stuffed animals; they hand out as gifts to the winners, on a small bookshelf in her room.
Here are Mama's bingo prizes
The place is very nice and not like any nursing home any of you are thinking of. I’m grateful for that.