I am struggling heavily with Mother's Day this year not because of my position in life as a child-free, custodial step-mom but because I am seriously missing my mom right now. Have been for weeks. I don't know why I'm struggling so hard with missing her this year other than I have several residents who reflect some facet of her so distinctly that it's triggering memories and making me miss her even though she's been gone now for 13 years.
One of my favorite ladies is slowly dying right now. She has dementia, but up until recently, was fairly mobile. She had a heart attack three weeks ago and we weren't sure she would be coming back. They brought her back a week ago and while I knew she wouldn't be the same, it still hurts to see her going away a little more every day. She can no longer get up and walk in the geri-walker she once used. They can't put her in a recliner for any length of time because her mind still tells her body she can walk when she can't. It's taken me a week to really accept that she is in a different stage of life now.
I went into her room today to give her a bed bath since it's so hard on her to get her out of bed. Her husband comes to see her everyday. I think I can count a total of 10 days that he hasn't come to see her and those were during our quarantine and when the weather prevented him from driving. He's still totally devoted to her and you can see just how much he still loves and cares for her. He knocked on the door and I explained to him that I was just finishing her bath. After I finished, I found him in the dining room talking to one of our facility's book-keepers. I heard him tell her he couldn't remember my name and she pointed to me and said my name. He said that I was the one he was talking about. The book-keeper told me that he told her that I was one who always had a smile on my face and seemed to enjoy my job. I almost had to walk out of the room and hide somewhere to cry. Lately, I absolutely dread my job, not because of the residents but because of co-workers, and this week has been pure hell because of state survey/inspection. I put a smile on my face because these residents and their family members need someone to smile at them and show them that even though their loved ones' futures are short, they are still valued and enjoyed. When their loved one dies, it won't necessarily be okay, but they need to know that they were important to more than just them. And I do it because someone did it for me when my mom lay dying in a nursing home and it's time for me to return the favor.