“There is a plan and a purpose, a value to every life, no matter what its location, age, gender, or disability. — Sharron Angle
I’ve been nominated by Carol at Wanderings of an Illusive Mind. (For a smile and a look at something beautiful, go check out her blog header…she paints with alcohol inks and the horse you’ll find there is stunning!)
Life here is pretty busy at the moment, though I suppose it’s busy everywhere now that the holidays are upon us. Here in the US the combination of politics and holidays don’t seem to go together very well, especially this year.
But I don’t want to talk about that.
I’d rather talk about the value of a life, regardless of the age or location of a person. Especially because of the age and location of a person.
Our elderly family member is settling into a new home, one she wishes she didn’t have to accept. She lived in her own apartment until she was 101 ; that’s longer than most of us will ever live alone. But her legs and her heart just aren’t strong enough for her to live alone any longer.
She knew that someday she’d have to move into a nursing home. Still, now that the time has come, it’s hard.
It’s hard on those of us watching her struggle with emotions as we struggle with ours. It’s hard telling her over and over that she can’t go home again. It’s hard to listen to her voicing her objections to her new location. And it’s hard to leave her there after each visit.
It’s hard to tell her the sky is a brilliant blue and the air is warm and see her sad eyes at the realization she can’t see out the window on the other side of her shared room. It’s hard to listen to her talk about the noises made by other residents at night without having an acceptable resolution. To think about her never having her favorite cinnamon raisin toast again because there’s nowhere to toast it for her. To realize that her space is too small to give her fresh flowers, that she never gets fresh fruits with a meal, that she can no longer enjoy the company of her bird. That she enjoys no privacy at all.
Mostly it’s hard for her.
I believe her life still has value, regardless of the age she has attained and regardless of where she now finds her physical self. And I believe that somehow we need to find a way to make her feel valuable again. Because right now she’s not feeling like she matters to much of anyone at all.
And that’s not right.
Change is hard.