Nursing Home Musings

I’ve been going through a lot of old papers stashed away for years, mostly unfinished symphonies. 😉 Among them was an even longer version this poem I’ve decided to edit and post. (I remember now why I never finished it before. 🙂 )

Having worked in seniors’ homes over the years, I’ve seen various sides to this issue. I’ve seen parents whose children do visit often, and parents whose children, for some (often valid) reason, don’t. I’m curious to know what you think as you read this senior’s musings. Do you think her complaint’s valid, is she forgetting how often her children do visit, or is she whining too much?

Where Are My Children Tonight?

I’m lonely tonight in this old nursing home,
wishing that one of my children would come.
The visitors passing glance down but don’t care
to speak to the woman that sits in this chair.
I see them arriving; they come with a smile
to visit their parents and chat for awhile.
I do hope my children come see me tonight.

I’d love it if one of my boys would drop by
to talk of old times, even just to say “Hi”;
or my daughters—they surely could think of their Mom?
But it seems so long since anyone’s come.
I wonder what they are all doing tonight?

When Dad passed away, the children were good
to come to the service and cry like they should;
they took care of the will and the funeral, too,
and they said, “Mom, don’t worry. We’ll look after you.”
Be nice if they’d drop in to visit tonight.

They said, “Mom, you’re too frail for living alone.
The best thing for you is a good nursing home.”
And then we won’t worry that you’ll get sick or fall
So they came to admit me and signed papers all.
I’m safe in this place, but where are they tonight?

When my children were little I was busy all day
I had so few minutes to hear what they would say.
Now I have all this time and would love to just sit
and gather my brood for a good long visit.
Oh, please let my children come see me tonight!

We gave them so much—all we could afford—
and I marvel to think of the money we poured
into their schooling, fed and clothed them for years.
Now they’re busy each day with their friends and careers.
No time to drop in on their mother tonight.

Do they think back with fondness on their childhood years?
How should I have raised them so they would be here?
Now I’m just an old woman sitting here in this chair
hoping they will remember and show proof that they care
for their mother and still come to see me tonight.

7 thoughts on “Nursing Home Musings

  1. Christine, the poem is heartbreaking, but I’m glad that you wrote and posted it. As one who “put” my Mother in a nursing facility, I can tell you that I will never completely forgive myself. There are many factors involved in such a decision, but one thing that I believe must follow is visiting. How often? There is no arbitrary schedule, but seniors who are in these places must be checked on and staff must know that someone is watching who cares. In addition, the resident needs to know that someone, hopefully family, cares enough to stop by. It truly is the least we can do.

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    • I’m glad you felt it was worth posting. It seemed rather melancholic, but it is true to life.

      We put Bob’s mom in a nursing home, too, when I couldn’t care for her at home anymore. But she was in her upper nineties, and it was a very good home. I visited her a couple times a week.

      I’ve seen cases where the old folks had no children living nearby. They came once a year and even that was a challenge because of distance. And I’ve seen cases where nearby children basically abandoned their folks. But I’ve also seen some parents who wouldn’t have inspired any loving memories that would draw the children back for visits. And that’s sad.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tough stuff. I was far away when Mum and Dad were in homes so couldn’t see them often, but thankfully, other siblings were closer. But it is so sad. And another tough thing is wondering if the caretakers are really caring for your loved one when you can’t be there. We are in that with hubby’s mom right now, and you feel caught and helpless at times.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Lilly. Thanks for leaving your thoughts. Yes, there are various aspects that are tough. If the resident can speak for themselves it helps a lot but some have lost the power to communicate and you just have to wonder if they’re getting top-notch care.
      On the other side, some folks are getting a lot better care in the Home than they would from their family, where the care may all fall on, say, an indifferent daughter-in-law.

      Liked by 1 person

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