(ROCKWALL, TX — May 3, 2019) I’m writing a bit early this week because today is an anniversary for me…of sorts. Six years ago today we moved Mother into Broadmoor Medical Lodge. It had been a very hard six months since her fall, but God was using those six months to build the facility that would be her home for the next five and a half years. Very pridefully I felt like I could keep Mother at home with me. I’m a highly qualified Registered Nurse. Surely, I can do this. Right?
Wrong. Dementia is an all-consuming family disease. Raising twin toddlers was nothing compared to caring for an ambulatory 95-year-old. You can’t put things out of their reach. You can’t confine them to their cribs or playpens. They get out of their beds at night. Hiding things from them is difficult because they can reach your hiding places. Removing the microwave is out of the question, but it’s use is very familiar to them…just not the time measurements.
Their nights and days become turned around, but your need for sleep escalates. You may not enjoy Gunsmoke or Bonanza episodes any longer, but those actors bring solace from days gone by.
I still hear the tap, tap, tapping of her cane on the hardwoods. The smell of her talcum fills my nose when I open a drawer. But Broadmoor was built just in time. I was going to need care before much longer. The Saint I live with would be caring for two instead of one, and nursing isn’t his gift.
This really needs to be a tribute to the ones who cared for her at Broadmoor, not a rehearsal of my whining. So many faces are reflected in my tears this morning; individuals who made the investment of time & touch in her life. Every day, month after month, year after year, they attended the intimacies of a dear soul who could not.
I thank the Lord for them. I continue to thank them when I volunteer there each week. The salaries rarely measure the commitment. Most of them have heartaches of their own, but those are laid aside as they use their hands and their words to bear the burdens of the least of these.
How like Jesus they are! Laying down their own needs, hurts, pains, and joys…for the ones they have come to serve. From the administrator, reception desk, the business office, to the beauty salon, or social workers, to the kitchen, to rehab, the housekeeping staff, and finally to the bedside care…hearts to serve are still there meeting the needs of others.
Thank you, Broadmoor.
You have blessed me.
By Paula Lively. Paula is a Volunteer Chaplain at Broadmoor Medical Lodge in Rockwall. She is a VERY retired RN who loves serving the residents at Broadmoor. She and her husband, Fred, have lived in Rockwall for 15 years.
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