Nursing homes can be expectedly awful. Nursing homes can be unexpectedly wonderful – like how the Nurses’ Aides dress Mom so that her clothes match and carefully comb her hair. She looks better coordinated and more kempt than when she was in Assisted Living and dressing herself with Alzheimer’s eroding her ability to do so.
There is a certain little old pillow that stayed in her closet in Assisted Living, and which I put in her closet in the nursing home. It’s nearly as old as Mom herself – ninety years old – because it was hand made for her by my grandmother when she was a little child. I thought a time would come when that little old pillow should go onto the bed although I think she has forgotten the significance of it (and almost everything else.) But she has been sleeping more and more as she loses the ability to talk or even smile. Two afternoons ago when I visited her, she was in bed, comfortably asleep, with the head of the bed raised somewhat and extra pillows to help prop her up – with the little old pillow tucked over her shoulder for her head to rest on. God bless those Nurses’ Aides.