My mother has been failing slowly all year. Then she had a health crisis in the summer. After two ambulance trips to the emergency room and a five-day hospital stay, crisis turned into catastrophe and landed her in long term care in a nursing home in Georgia. Since she is ninety years old and has had Alzheimers for years this was not exactly a surprise. It grieved me, though, and I think it grieved her while she still had hold of that part of her memory, that she couldn’t return to the wonderful assisted living facility where she was safe and happy for four and a half years. But there was an up side: no more reason not to bring her to Houston. I was able to get her to Houston and into a reputable facility called the Treemont.
As soon as the first mildly cool front of the year blew in, I took my mother on what may have been our last walk together. She was in the wheelchair she can never again not use. I pushed her on the sidewalks around the grounds of the Treemont. We looked at the flowers and acorns, leaves and oak trees. I plucked a morning glory flower from a bed of ground cover. She held onto that little purple flower all the way back into the building and upstairs to her floor.
She’s in worsening shape. Last night, it was all she could manage for me to push her to the end of the hall to look out the window at the clear cool sunset sky. She told me she wants to go home. I have no idea if she meant Assisted Living, or the modest little house on Mayfield Drive where she lived for f thirty years, or the farm where her family lived when she was a child. She is hardly articulate. I told her that she is very sick and has to be where nurses can take care of her day and night. And then I prayed with her, because now her once and future home is the nearer presence of God. May she get there in God’s good time soon.