Yesterday was the seventh anniversary of my Mother’s passing. I remember her reminding me of the passing anniversaries of her parents. She always said how incredible it seemed that so much time had passed. I understand now because I feel the same way about her.
It would not surprise me at all to see my mother walk into the room, see her delighting in her grandchildren, see her loading the table with her amazing cooking and baking. I would recognize her voice in a heartbeat.
My relationship with my Mother was hardly perfect. She would argue over anything and she could nag the hair off a dog. Even during, maybe especially during, her last few years when she was residing in care, my Mother could be difficult. But, she was my Mother. She worked hard to care for us and to provide decent clothes, nourishing meals and memorable holidays through the years. She sacrificed a lot of her own wants and needs to raise us and she cared for us all to the end.
My Mother spent the last five years of her life in longterm care. It was a relatively small facility. She had a private room with a private bath. It was a relatively sizeable room and was always kept clean and well maintained. The staff were competent and caring. She was well cared for and we were in all treated well when we went to see her.
It is difficult to think of my Mother and realize that I cannot pick up a phone to hear her voice or take a drive to her town to see her.
As difficult as it can be to remember the loss of my parents, this year I have to be grateful that they are not here. My heart goes out to families of the vulnerable elders who are currently in care. I cannot imagine the devastation that is going through many nursing homes right now. I cannot imagine what seniors, their families and their caretakers are going through.
It is always difficult to lose loved ones. We were fortunate that my Mother was relatively comfortable in her final days. We were fortunate that my siblings and I (and our spouses) could take turns spending her last days with her. My heart goes out to those who will not have our comforting memories of their loved ones final days.
Regardless of where we live, this Covid-19 still poses a huge risk – especially to vulnerable seniors living in longterm facilities. Until there is a vaccine to protect them, it is our duty to do everything in our power to protect them. If we are out and about or living with someone who has to go out, we must assume that we could potentially be infected. We must assume that anyone we cross paths with, may work in a care home or may live with someone who works in a care home. We cannot be complacent in believing that we are relatively safe. It is not just about us.