Daughter's Eulogy

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wake Up Call

On Sunday morning, the phone rang while we were still in bed. Mom’s nurse, Billy* spoke softly, “Julianne, your mother has had an accident. She fell. We are not sure how this happened. She was on the floor in the washroom when an aide found her. Your mother is very confused; we cannot make out what she was saying. Your mother is so weak; she asked me to put her back in bed. She is sleeping right now.”

“Billy*, thank you for calling me, I will be right over.”

“Julianne, we are in quarantine.”

“I understand.   I would like to come and see my mom.”

Upon arriving at The Community*, I went to sign in at the reception desk. Allison* told me that the entire place is quarantined; they are not recommending anyone to visit. I explained what happened to mom this morning. Allison* suggested I wear gloves and a mask. I agreed, too.

As the elevators opened on the second floor and I stepped out, I saw a stretcher with a blue body bag. Chills ran down my spine. I looked at the man wheeling the stretcher into the elevator, he was expressionless. He did not make eye contact with me. He wanted no questions asked. He obviously had done this many times before.

I continued to mom’s room and surprised when I walked into her room and she was not there. I proceeded to the nurses’ station where mom was sleeping in her wheelchair. Apparently when she woke up, she wanted to be with everyone else.

Mom shook her head from side to side; she was letting me know she had a bad morning. I let her know that I knew that she had fallen. When I asked her if she was in any pain she told me that she was not. Mom was mumbling more than ever. I tried to do most of the talking about the incident to see if I had the story right. She let me know when she agreed and when she did not agree.

Through mom’s hard effort to communicate and me trying to guess what she wanted me to know, I finally found out what happened.

Mom was in the washroom first thing in the morning to wash her face and brush her teeth. The aide brought her in and left her which is common so that the aide can help others get started, too. Mom was weak and for some unknown reason she stood up, Mom thought someone was there to help her sit back down. When she stepped back to sit back down, mom missed the seat of the wheelchair and fell on the floor.

Mom was relieved for me to know the story. She wanted me to tell Billy* when she walked over to see how mom was doing.

Mom’s temperature yesterday was 101.9. She had a lot of congestion. She saw the mask and surgical gloves and wanted me to go home so I did not become sick. I let her know that I had to come to see her and make sure she was OK.

I wheeled mom into the cafeteria. I asked mom if she would like me to feed her. She shook her head no, “Home.” Mom’s concern was for me; she wanted me to leave.

We prayed, blew kisses, and I gladly left on mom’s request.

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