We want to take her home.
But her level of care will not allow that right now, and our heads spin with the options.
They plan to transfer by ambulance.
But it’s only a few blocks. Can we get her into a wheelchair?
My brother has a lift in his van, and we decide to handle it ourselves.
She’s wanted a cigarette so badly, and so before we go through the doors, my brother lights one for her.
The breeze blows, and the sun shines, and we stand and wait.
It’s not so bad.
There’s a small, elegant visiting area just inside the door with a fireplace. I wonder if it works.
The nurses’ station is the hub of the wheel around which four resident wings and the dining room revolve.
Through the dining room and outside, there’s a wicker seating area and a vegetable garden.
They allow supervised smoke breaks out here.
They give us the code so we avoid setting off alarms.
We follow willow-jeaned legs down long hall, two-inch heels clicking along waxed beige.
Black and white prints of bygone days hang in the halls–a horse and buggy parked on Main Street, a top loader straddling a load of sledded logs.
We stop at the last room.
It’s the second bed. The one by the window. In a room that’s not hardly big enough for a visitor’s chair.
Which is a good thing, I suppose. A way to encourage interaction in a community area.
Time here should be spent resting after working hard in therapy.
The nurse comes in.
The aides come in.
Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy visit.
We stand around and chat and discuss what items to bring from home.
And later we’ll second-guess our decision.
We know that we are not the only family to go through this.
Not the first.
Not the last.
But it feels like it.
I remember what my doctor told me years ago when microscopic cells ate through a tube, and we both wondered if earlier intervention would have made a difference.
“We make the best decisions we can with the information we have,” he said.
(But I know he went back to the lab late at night to second-guess himself.)
And we talk about about how we are not ultimately in control anyway.
How Another has it all covered.
She’s scared and confused.
And so are we.
It’s late, and she’s tired, so we say our goodnights, and go home to rest in our own beds.
Or will we?
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. ~Psalm 29:11