On Tuesday of last week, this gorgeous perfect luna moth was resting on the door as I went to stay with Mama at her Forest Ridge Senior Living apartment.
We had plans in place to move her to a memory care unit at Glen Oaks Health Campus, a sister facility to Forest Ridge. She has digressed to the point where she just needs more than we are able to give her. I think I cried more tears and fretted more nights away than at any point in my life over this decision, yet in my heart I know she will be better off there. Although we all have agonized over the situation, all 4 of us siblings agree this is the best decision. And it was up to me to tell her the news.
I prayed and prayed about it...how to approach the subject and that God would give her a spirit of acceptance and peace.
When I saw this lovely luna moth, the likes of which I've only seen a time or two in my life, I felt it was a good sign. And it was...God answered my prayers with Mama calmly and trustingly accepting the news that she was moving.
After spending all day and night with her, early the next morning this greeted me on the sidewalk just outside Forest Ridge. Undeniably, the remains of the lovely moth which had met with a violent and untimely death.
I tried to shrug it off as a simple act of the cruelty of survival in nature, but something inside went "ugh." So much so that I snapped this photo. But the entire day I felt unsettled...I just couldn't shake that feeling...
We had told the family that she would be moving and could have no visitors for a couple of weeks, so several friends and family came to see her.
And she got phone calls from others. She enjoyed the attention and was accepting of the upcoming changes. Since her last hospitalization, Forest Ridge has not been familiar to her and she especially got frustrated with the elevator situation. Mama talked to me constantly about moving, "going home" (although she couldn't tell me where "home" is), and packing up her things. So the idea of moving wasn't a bad one, but we knew that any transition would be difficult for her.
Although there were LOTS of frustrations and numerous phone calls involved, the paperwork finally went through and last Friday afternoon the move to Glen Oaks happened.
Barb, her husband John, Kim, and I cleaned out her apartment.
Barb and I took Mama inside Glen Oaks and said our good-byes, knowing we would not be able to see her in person for two weeks. After staying with her half the month of August, it was really emotional for Barb and me, but Mama took everything in stride....
...and a staff member escorted her down the hallway into her new home.
As we were getting into our car to head back to finish up in her apartment, it did our hearts good to see Mama was already chatting it up with a new friend in the courtyard.
She saw us too, and with a big smile on her face said three words that broke our hearts: "Don't forget me." Barb and I had to fight back the tears as we assured her we never would, and told her not to forget us either, but as soon as they ushered Mama back inside and we turned away, the floodgates opened and the rest of the day we cried off and on.
We will NEVER FORGET her....but we both knew that she may very well forget us....
But that was not to be the end of the day's drama that has led into a very difficult present week...
When I made one last trip to drop off the rest of Mama's personal items for her room, one of the nurses there told me Mama had just recently taken a tumble. ANOTHER FALL!!! After we REPEATEDLY told the staff what a fall risk she is, she was barely there 90 minutes before she fell!!! We are still reeling from the irony of that. They had checked her out and she insisted she was okay and was able to get up and walk, so we breathed a sigh of relief. Kind of....
This image immediately came back to my mind. Somehow deep inside I already knew...
So I wasn't really surprised (sad, frustrated, heart-broken, aggravated, disappointed, yes...but not surprised...) when I got the phone call Saturday morning that Mama wasn't able to stand up and they were transporting her to the hospital for x-rays where I met the ambulance in ER. Hoping for the best but not expecting it...
Broken left hip.
When I texted my sisters "The Z is complete," sadly they both knew exactly what I meant.
Right shoulder broken in March, then left arm broken in May, right hip fracture/total replacement surgery in June, and now left hip fracture.
Four falls = 4 bone traumas, one for each extremity, all in less than 5 months. And add on top of that, the Covid restrictions.
Mama came through the surgery well, but in those past 5 months she has aged tremendously. The body and mind can only take so much trauma, and I think she's over her limit.
So here we are again, in the hospital with hopes to be discharged today or tomorrow into a rehab facility until she's able to go back to her new Glen Oaks apartment that she's never even been able to use yet.
Mama is so frail and worn out, rightfully so. It's been a long, tough summer for all of us, but especially for her.
Way too much...