So the Google bots can read what is written on my beautiful sunrise photo above, I’m repeating it below:
Everything in life is most fundamentally a gift.
And you receive it best and you live it best by holding it with very open hands.
– Leo O’Donovan
Tiffany and her husband, Chris, helped me on Saturday move my mother’s (Tiffany’s grandmother) belongings from one assisted living facility to another. Crazy busy, we got through in record time and hung my father’s paintings on her walls, placed family photos all around and hooked up her TV. We moved her hospital bed at an angle so that she could see both her TV (she loves football) and the view of the pool and the backyard out the sliding glass door, her window. We asked her opinion as we placed things around her room and in her usual sweet way, she said “yes, that’s fine.”
The board-and-care facility, where my mother will spend her final days, has bent over backward to accommodate us. When they transported her last week from her old facility to this new one, this new place let us use their furniture so that my mother’s room would not just have her hospital bed as the sole piece of furniture in her new room. So, they placed chairs for guests around the room, added a dresser and nightstands in appropriate places and a large, oversize recliner in a corner.
When we arrived on Saturday with her own furniture, Chris and Tiffany moved the home’s furniture into the adjoining bathroom, to make room for my mother’s furniture. The bathroom, a large Jack-and-Jill bathroom with doors connecting to two different bedrooms, amazingly fit two nightstands and a large dresser. Left with only the large, oversize recliner (and the hospital bed in which my mother lay), we quietly discussed the options of what to do with this oversize recliner, which took up an entire corner of her room.
You see, my mother has never liked recliners and my first thought was to remove the “offending” piece of furniture to make this room truly her own. It was so large there was no way we could move it out the sliding glass door nor out through the narrow hallway. And, no way would it fit in the now full bathroom! With a cursory once-over of this chair, we couldn’t see how it ever got into the room in the first place!
Chris gently suggested that we keep it for “later.” “Later” being a time when one of us wants to stay the night, as my mother traverses her hospice journey. So, we moved it into the corner, covered it with some of my mother’s pretty decorative pillows and her seven Teddy bears (yes, my 84-year-old mother has Teddy bears!). With one of my father’s large, abstract masterpieces hanging over it, suddenly the “offending” recliner took on a new life, a new purpose – a cozy respite in the onslaught of the storm.
While we worked on carrying in my mom’s furniture, placing it around her new room, we shut the connecting door to the bathroom. A few hours later, we opened it to put some of my mother’s supplies in the bathroom. The furniture was gone! The caregiving staff had quietly removed the no longer needed furniture through the other connecting door and stored it elsewhere.
As we wrapped up our marathon decorating project, one of her new caregivers (Edna) came into the room to check on Mom and give her medication. Overwhelmed by the transformation, Edna said “I want to move in here!” High praise.
This new home is a gift. A warm, welcoming, loving and wonderful place, she will not lack for attention.
We are grateful.
Tiffany and Mom on “move-in” day, taken by Barbara, part of the management team of this fine facility.
Until Next Time,