Sunday, July 24, 2005

Validating Her Journey

The reason I was in the grocery store today was to pick up something for supper because I spent the day at the hospital.

For many years I have been responsible for the needs of an elderly woman. In this time she has gone from living independently and using a cane to being bedridden and in a wheelchair. We have had lots of intimate times through the years as I tried to maintain her dignity while helping her in the most undignified of circumstances. We've cracked jokes while trying to fit her, me and a walker in a cubicle space smaller than a broom closet. So often she would say to me, "If anyone would've told me I'd end up like this, I never would've believed them."

She is 85 now and today she took a turn for the worse. When the nurse phoned to let me know, I scrapped my plans for the day and went to sit with her. By supper time she had stabilized although I let my request to the priest for the annointing of the Sacrament of the Sick stand. She has a grown son who I can't seem to locate. I'm really too tired to write about it. No one should go through this without someone to sit and be witness to the journey. To validate it. To validate them. I tried to do that today. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

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