This is a story based on things I witnessed as a hospice nurse over many years. It is a composite, with elements from several cases, but very true nonetheless. Incidents like this happen all the time, especially in the nursing homes and “assisted living” arrangements.
So, get out your tissues and prepare to think hard about your own choice of gifts for those who need your love more than anything else.
A Gift For Granny
By Susan Callaway, RN
Mrs. B. spent each morning parked in her wheelchair in front of the reception desk, enduring the blasts of either cold or heat, depending on the season, each time the big automatic doors opened with the endless stream of people coming and going. She would not accept food or water, medicine or anything else during this vigil, but each day at noon her cheerful countenance would fall and she would allow the attendant to wheel her back to her room and put her to bed.
Whenever she was asked why she sat at the door each day, she would say only, “My son is coming.” But he never came.
One day a large box was delivered for her. It contained a beautiful and expensive, though obviously commercially made quilt. The card with it was from her son, living in a far state, and only said, “Love, Bill.”
I’m sure he was terribly proud of himself for remembering that she loved quilts, conveniently forgetting that she had spent countless hours crafting them by hand for every family member through the years, with the last ones made for his own children. I wonder how many of those quilts were lovingly preserved or carefully and gratefully used. I’d wager not many.
The next morning she refused to get up, and for the first time in years was missing from her post at the door. She refused to eat or drink anything for the next few days and quickly became unable to swallow or talk. She died shortly after that, alone and miserable.
I do hope that hypocrite son didn’t bother with some fancy funeral, or worse, finally fly out to attend it. What a silly waste of time and money.
The holidays are suddenly upon us, and one of the things I hear a lot in my work with the elderly is the question from family and friends: What would make a good gift?
There is only one real answer, and most people actually know what it is already. The best gift of all, any time of the year, and preferably all through the year, is TIME. The elderly, especially those in “nursing homes” and other diabolical human warehouses, do not need more “things.” They need the presence and love of their families more than anything else on earth… and it is usually what they get the very least.
American society has been in deep trouble for at least the last 50 years, but the roots of that trouble go much farther back and are all part of the plan of the socialists to destroy our society and America. As much as some people would like to think otherwise, the destruction of the basic unit of all civilization, the family, is the goal… and they have almost succeeded.
For many reasons, taxes and other government interference being a large part of it, we warehouse our children in “schools” and “day care”, allowing strangers and heaven knows what kind of perverts and socialists to raise them. We warehouse our elderly and disabled in the same way, abandoning them at the time they have the greatest need for their family and loved ones. This isn’t a theory or a possibility. It is the reality for most of the “families” in this country today.
The destruction of the family is almost complete now, with more and more children each day being born to a “single parent”. Each year there are fewer “extended families” that include the grandparents and their siblings in the raising of the children. These families also care for their elderly and disabled. Surely, theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
So think well before you disdain the family or the involvement of your parents in the raising of your children. Someday YOU will be elderly and need to be cared for. Think long and hard about where you wish to be during that time. Do you really want to spend your last days among strangers? Or would you rather have the loving arms of your family around you?
The only way to have the care you need when that time comes is to form and hold together a strong and loving family NOW, with real care and education for your children along with giving care to your own elderly parents and family. You teach the children by doing it. That is the only way it works.