I debated on writing about this. Concerned that I wouldn't be able to articulate my feelings clearly and also that it is a very vulnerable place for me... but I decided I needed to for therapeutic reasons. My Ma (Grandma) was put in the nursing home about three weeks ago in the town where I live. My poor Mom (the sweetest person I know) bore the burden of this decision alone. She talked to me about it several times and I couldn't respond... I felt bad, but I couldn't say out loud that this was the right thing to do. Mom and I finally talked about it and I explained to her that even if it was the right thing to do-it was the wrong thing in my mind because she is my Ma. There is no logic involved with my thought process when it comes to her, it is purely emotional and I cant change that. The fact is Ma can no longer live alone, she needs assistance. Regardless, it doesn't make any of this any easier.
Ma has been the foundation of our family- the bulk of my childhood memories are all wrapped up in her. I'm saddened and broken hearted for her, for so many reasons that I cant even begin to explain.
She is in one of the highest rated nursing homes in the state of Oklahoma, regardless, it is what it is.. a nursing home. I go there daily to see her and more times than not I leave completely frustrated with the staff. They do have some really good people working there, but unfortunately they also have a group of people that seem to hate life, hate their job, or just don't care. That train of thought might be acceptable if you worked at Wal-Mart, were an accountant, whatever.. but when you are responsible for the care of other people- care and compassion are requirements. And if your heart isn't in it, than you shouldn't work in that profession.
To complicate this situation I personally have always had a compassion for the elderly so deep that I cant explain it. These emotions run so strong, that they wash over me like the ocean and sometimes I feel as though I will drown. As a result, my heart is heavy and my soul is burdened for everyone there.. Every person in there has a story- they were just like you and I once. I feel compelled to help each and every person who needs it. Being there daily has been an emotional syphon.
Having said all of this- obviously I cant continue to waller in my emotions, after all this isn't about me, but about Ma. I'm a firm believer in the "Bloom where you are planted" mentality. While this is not the ideal setting I had envisioned for Ma- she is there and so I must find a way to make this as positive as an experience for her as possible, while finding away to deal with it all myself. I was talking to God the other day and told him "enough with the character building already.." I'm praying daily that God gives me the grace to deal with this. I know that my heart is burdened for a reason and that I can be used to influence those around me, to reflect kindness and compassion.
On a positive note- she has had a lot of visitors. One of the reasons my Mom placed her here is the close proximity to two of Ma's siblings, nieces, grandchildren etc. Ma's great niece and her husband also work at the nursing home- and they are both great. I bring Ma to my house on Sundays and my Mom, sister and niece come and spend the day. We laugh a lot (usually at each others expense) and it has been great to spend time together.