Sunday, July 11, 2004

A Drive in the Country

Drove to see my grand-mother today. Even though it takes longer, I always take the backroads.There's some beautiful countryside here-all hills and woods and small farms. Fresh summer smells. Mmm..
I have always loved this drive, it's the destination that scares me. I'm going to the nursing-home and I don't know what to expect. My experience with these places is uniformly bad.

From the parking lot, it looks clean and fairly new. Ok. Through two sets of automatic doors and inside. Everything's clean and it looks well-appointed, like the lobby of an expensive hotel, except with wheel-chairs and oxygen tanks.

I can't find the little scrap of paper with her room number and the woman at the front desk is busy doing something. I think she's doing some sort of meditation exercise, since she's got her back to entrance and is staring at what looks like a wall.

Down the hall, I hear a voice. I think it's Granma's pastor, so I peek in through the open door. There's a few sad people standing around a bed-ridden figure.It's too skinny to determine gender. This is how people die.

I asked the first nurse I saw if she knew which room my Gran was in. She did, even walked me over there. Hats off to the people who can work in these places.

Gran's spirits are up, but she's very weak. Her heart is barely beating, and it shows.She tells me the same stories she told me a few weeks ago. I pretend like I've never heard any of this before, but I can't help thinking how mixed-up she sounds.
At least she's smiling and talking up a storm.

I take the extra-long scenic route home and the mountains make me feel a little better.

1 comment:

tif said...

you are so awesome for visiting gramma. i have been in a place like this only once, to visit a young thing in a coma, but it killed me. like you said. bless those who "can" work there. dont think i could.