Friday, March 7, 2014
I got there just a little before eight. My mom and sister had just finished breakfast in the dining room/restaurant and were waiting for me in the lobby.
We went up the elevator to my mom's apartment on the second floor. My sisters and brother-in-law have done a fantastic job getting the place together- since last weekend, they've bought a new couch and chair, moved beds, dressers, dishes, sheets and towels, and just generally made the place home.
This morning, I talked to the hospital billing department. And went to the grocery store. And cleaned up a little bit. Then my mom and I went to the dining room for lunch, exchanged her medical alert necklace for a medical alert bracelet and looked for the library (a girl has to have her priorities, ya know?). I had planned on staying for the afternoon, but a Colorado snowstorm blew in, so I headed back to Denver about 3.
I think the new living situation is going to be good for my mom. She has her own space, but there's an alert button in every room if she needs help. She has a kitchen, but she can eat meals in a dining room if she wants to. There's a bus for group events and a driver for individual appointments and meetings, which will be good, since my mom can't drive right now, or maybe ever. And there are people around and all kinds of clubs and activities and things to do.
At the same time, the whole process feels a little like leaving a reluctant five-year-old at the door of the kindergarten classroom. You know, one of those kids that watches everyone painting or building with blocks or writing stories, but hides behind her mom, not quite sure she wants to try it out herself. My mom is that five-year-old right now. She's not quite comfortable, yet, with going down to the dining room by herself. She hates using a walker and is embarrassed to have her friends see her. She doesn't know whether she will try any of the clubs and activities. She misses her independence.
I close her door this afternoon and walk away with a huge lump in my throat. I wonder how long it will be before my mom will jump in and get comfortable in her new life.