Friday, July 13, 2018

Next to the Last Stage with Patsy

This has been such an emotional time for me and for Patsy who is in some land that's caught between times and memories.

Wednesday July 11 I fell apart.  It all seemed so horribly overwhelming.  Suddenly I am told by Euclid Hospital that the doctor wanted her released and 'did I find a place for her' as if I hadn't been doing that.  I had acquired the last empty room at the Avenue Assisted Living in Avon Lake but the big furniture hadn't been transferred.  I went to my bed in tears and dear sweet Robert got on the phone with Hank who was willing to hook up his small trailer to the Land Cruiser and tote the chairs and end table with us.  We headed to Lakewood but on the way I received a text from Frank Ourednik who said he'd meet us there. Frank has a big truck and would be able to transport the 3 large items and our Pruis could cart the rest.

We stopped for Hank so we could have another pair of strong and wiling hands.  I was sobbing and Hank called the boys to come to me.  Simon crawled into my lap, looked at my tears soaked face and asked, "Granny, are you sad that Niko died?"  Well, that didn't help much. Got salt to put into a wound?  Such sweet innocence. And maybe he was onto something. Maybe losing Niko and then Patsy was just too much.

Since it was July 11 (7-11, get it) it was free Slushies at 7-11 so with 2 boys in tow and their parents we went to that store just up the street from them.  This is the first time EVER that I've had a Slushie.
 Then it was onto Patsy's apartment in Cleveland. Frank was already there and we got it done in quick order.  He's willing to come help us throw away the rest of the place when we are able. I am so grateful for his willingness to help. I know he's Johnny's nephew but he claims Patsy as his aunt so he's good with the chore.  We drove to Avon Lake, and the 3 men brought in the 2 lift chairs and the end table.  There were a few odds and ends we put in there from her apartment so maybe she'd get the feel of home.

Along come Friday, July 13..Ominous day to move Patsy.  We went to the hospital and after a short wait were able to get her discharged. She was sure that 'someone' had decided she could not take care of Jeffrey and were taking him away from her.

Oh dear.

So we got in the car and took the long ride to Avon Lake and kept up a nonstop conversation about nothing.  It was SO much easier that Robert and I had thought it would be.  Finally as we drove near, I told her how one day Johnny and Jeff would be coming for her and they would need to not have any stairs and an easily accessible shower stall and that we, along with Frank, had found the perfect place. She seemed to like that idea.

We got a wheelchair and along with 2 nurses aides rolled her to Room 76.  She loved the look of the place and wasn't exactly clear on what was happening. She seemed very happy and was totally glad to see the shower.  She kept saying that she didn't deserve such a great place, was sure that it cost too much.  Her welcome there was incredible.  Both of the directors and 3 of the nurses aides came in and let her talk and tell stories about me and Johnny and about Jeffrey, etc.

Then it was time for dinner so we rolled her into the dining room and I took this picture of her.
She was happy with the food .  Again, we introduced her to Maddie Ware Shuler (Holly and Steve Ware's daughter) who is the Activity Director for the Memory Care Unit.  Maddie was so gentle and kind to her so that's wonderful.

But it was time for the Sundowner moment to arrive and arrive it did!  She wanted to go home and see her mom, tell her mom things, and she was afraid to stay there alone. She was insistent!  So I told her to sit back and rest and I'd go check with the ladies in charge.  Then I shut her door and walked out and to the car.  And after dinner we went home. I was so mentally and emotionally exhausted but I just wanted to sleep.  Oh it is so hard. If this is what I am supposed to learn so Patsy could make the final journal then let it be so.

I had encouraging texts from people.  The best came from Cynthia Vidmar, who runs the Lake County Rehabilitation Center that Patsy, Johnny and Jeff all volunteered at.  "Knowing that she is in a safe and clean place with people who are familiar with her disease is very comforting.Susan, this was the best and realistically the right choice. She will adapt and perhaps even thrice. Don't beat yourself up. You did the right thing" which was then confirmed by Frank "I agree!!!'  I cried!

I downloaded a book by Robert Millet on prayer.   Talking with God: Divine Conversations That Transform Daily Life.    I have been reading it aloud to Robert and we discussed how our prayers could/should become better.  So yesterday morning , following the few things we've read I gave it a try.  I knelt down after a few moments of quiet and then added a couple more quiet moments and considered what I wanted to say to the God of God, who knows all I need without me having to ask.

Basically I just said I didn't know why I had to do this, that it was hard, that Patsy wouldn't want to be moved, etc., etc.  And into my head came this parallel.  Jesus knew what he had to do, even tho he was pretty sad and maybe even scared but He was willing to offer His life for us, and many of us didn't even want what He was doing for us, not then, and not in all the years of this creation.

Then I realized what it meant to be a savior, how we could be  and should be saviors to those we minister.  Maybe it was that prayer done that way and the answer that guided me through the day.  I just hope it continues to see me through these first few week.  But I still hope that Johnny and Jeffrey come for her sooner, not later. IF Families are supposed to be forever, then it's time Patsy gets to see her parents, sister, husband and beloved son Jeffrey.

PS on Monday,  July 16,  I walked in to visit Patsy.  She turned to me after I had sat down and said, "they're all dead, aren't they?"  We both know what she was saying, who she was talking about.  Yes, I told her. She wondered why she had been thinking they were alive.  All I could tell her was that she'd been sick for over 3 weeks and her brain just was looking for comfort from the people she knew had been there for us. But that Robert and I were there for her now and would care for her.  Since she was lucid the lawyer we hired came over and had her sign the updated Power of Attorney, and a couple other health powers for me.  She has remained in this same Patsy state til now (Saturday). Fully in the present.  Today I asked her if she wanted her bed and maybe the kitchen table and couple of chairs.  Surprisingly, as she had been walking through this area, she had time to look into rooms and noticed there were beds and yes, she thinks she will get those things.  I think Patsy the homemaker has seen the sparsity of her room and wants to make this last place her home. Those are good signs.  Sad signs, but good signs.  Not sure how long this will last but I'll take what I can get.

We have almost finished with her apartment on Schenely.  I will feel better when that is done. Then it will just be dealing with her last years.

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