The morning after Mother’s Day, I felt compelled to visit mom since she had such a tough time coming to our home yesterday. I wanted to make sure taking her out did not create a setback. While at our home, mom had been so anxious to go back to The Community.*
She was sitting around the nurses stations with a few other residents staring into space. Very rarely do I ever find them talking to each other. They line themselves up against the wall looking at the nurses go about their daily paperwork and preparing medicines. I smile and say hello to everyone who picks up their head up to look at me. Occasionally one of them will smile or say hello back. I wish everyone who visited there knew how important a few words and a smile meant to them. Even though some residents might not display any emotion, I believe they need to feel like they are not less than or transparent to the outside world.
Mom was delighted to see me; her whole face lit up. I had not seen that yesterday. “Julienne, I just saw you yesterday. “
“I was in the neighborhood, mom, and I thought I would stop by and say hello.” Just seeing me brightened her day. I was so glad I stopped by; I knew she was doing well.
“Julienne, I was dreaming . . . last night. You know . . . what I was thinking?”
“No, Mom, tell me.”
“I wish I had rest of my steak and corn . . . could not finish last night. Ron made . . . corn . . . for me.”
“Mom, you ate good last night. I am glad you enjoyed the food."
Since yesterday, she had time to think about her Mother’s Day outing. She realized that the meal was selected and prepared with her in mind. She felt special and more importantly . . . loved.
After forty-five minutes, she asked me to walk with her to the lunch room. When we went to hug and kiss goodbye another lady who rooms across the hall from my mom was walking by with her walker. She stopped and looked directly into mom’s eyes. With eyes of loneliness she said, “You don’t know how lucky you are. You have someone who comes to visit you and gives you hugs.” Mom responded quicker than normal, “Oh, I know!” Mom seemed proud as she smiled and nodded.
As the lady continued towards the lunch room, my heartfelt a tug as I could not remember ever seeing that lady with any visitors when I have been present. Should I have hugged the lady? I did not. What I did was hug mom again. This time our hug was even tighter as mom said, “Julienne, I like to see you every day. Today was a treat!”