It’s been too long since I’ve posted. Dad went into the nursing home, and now we are having trouble getting Medicaid to keep him there. Having said that, I’d like to share some thoughts about nursing homes and modern health care:
Legless, often speechless, voiceless, everywhere in wheelchairs, waiting faces, lives of modern medicine. expressionless at least, we see they don’t have, forget they had, still have. Aunt said, “putting us out to pasture.” Keep them alive. “Live longer! Look younger!” the commercials preach. And they sit, childlike, smooth or wrinkled faces, eyes that still see, ears that still hear.
She was a high school teacher. He was an engineer at NASA. She was a mother, a caregiver herself, a lover, a writer. He was a Tuskeegee Airman. Made soup on cold days, loved. Built his own shop to work on his motorcycles, now rusted and scrapped. Watched his buddy die in the war. Lost her husband in the war.
The lives go on, and the stories. But we don’t hear, don’t even ask. We feel sad, or ignore so we won’t. We stick hats on their heads for holidays. We dress them up for church. We smile, and feel so proud when they smile back, because we visited, for once, because we did something, not nothing. They watched their children grow into adults and have their own children, and their children, grandchildren don’t have time. But praise modern medicine for saving their grandmas and grandpas! What would we do without longevity? What will we do with it? Bodies and brains rotting, but alive, by God, alive.