So much for all the rereading/revising I was going to do while I sat with my dad in the nursing home and then later sat in a hotel by myself. I did NO WORK the whole time I was gone. None. (Well, I did take a couple of notes on my outline, but that hardly counts.)
My dad was actually awake the whole time I was there both days. Even when I thought he was going to sleep, he still talked to me with his eyes closed. So that was good (I want to talk with him while I still have the opportunity…) And I never felt like writing in the hotel…it’s just such a LONG drive up there…and being in the nursing home is so exhausting (especially last Friday because one of the residents, who was also the mother of the events coordinator there had just passed away). I actually went back to my hotel and fell alseep at 9:00 on Friday (VERY unusual for me!). And it was probably good that I did, because the d*** pipes kept waking me up all night long.
I have a new friend who has offered to go with me one of these times when I make the trip to visit my dad. (What a friend, huh? She actually suffered a stroke herself a few years ago…and after she recovered she went back to school to get her Master’s in social work. She wants to work with older people who have had strokes. She’s amazing!) I may actually take her up on her offer…it’s such a lonely trip when I go without my family. And they just can’t make the trip as often as I need to right now.
I was really struck this time by what a COMMUNITY that nursing home is. I never got that sense with the other nursing homes my dad has been in…if he’s got to be in one at all, he’s definitely in the right one. I’m really starting to get to know some of these residents. One of my dad’s friends gave me this picture she’d made (basically it’s a Christmas card that she’s punched holes in and then crocheted all around). Mine was the 1070th one she’s given away since OCTOBER! (Her goal was to make and give away 1000 of these…she was actually fastening them to milk cartons originally, but her fingers are all cut up from working with the milk cartons, so the staff eventually told the kitchen people that they weren’t allowed to give her any more milk cartons!) I love that this woman is doing this (and I’m going to hang onto this little picture that she gave me to remember her by). It’s so important to have a goal in life, no matter how old you are or what that goal is. (May I always remember that!)
I was thinking that when I’m old, I should write a mystery series set in a nursing home! (Because I’ll still be writing when I’m old…I’m NEVER going to retire!) This place my dad is in has certainly given me a lot of ideas. But I don’t think this is something I could do right now.