I walk in to their home. Invade their comfort. Sometimes I help increase their comfort. Initiate things being done for them. To help them stay home and keep their comfort zone. Sometimes I have to walk away and respect that they have the choice to live the way they want. But sometimes it’s totally different. I have to initiate something that will change their world. Take them out of anything they know and control and put them some place strange. Not necessarily bad. But not something they would have chosen. Or want.
It’s not always easy. It’s not always pleasant. There are times when it is appreciated. Their lives are made better but no one was around, or cared enough, to help.
But every time it happens I am sorry. I am sorry they have come to this point in their lives and can not be independent. I grieve that for them more than they will ever know. I am sorry they don’t have the family, or the help, or the money to pay the exhorbitant price of care in the home. So they can stay safe and comfortable in their home that is no longer safe or comfortable if they stay there alone. I’m sorry when there is family who loves them and has done everything possible to keep them home, and yet they can not do enough. I’m sorry for the family who feels like they are letting them down, and I see the guilt in their faces. I’m sorry for the families who promised to never let this happen, because they were made to make that promise.
Though it’s what needs to be done. It is not always wanted. For them. From them. From me.
Sometimes I walk in to their homes and smile at what they tell me. Their lives are full and fun and emotional and difficult. They let me in to their lives and I see glimpses of America that most people don’t get to see. I talk to veterans. I talk to nuns. I talked to one lady who was a nun and a veteran. I talk to women who raised their families and took care of the husband so all he had to do was work, and I talked to the men who would work until they dropped to provide for their families. I’ve talked to miners, accountants, laborers, teachers, singers, travelers, people with a million descendents, people with not one blood line to them remaining in this world.
Sometimes there is nothing to smile about when I walk in to a home. But I try my best to give them one.
Every time I walk in to someone’s home it is different.
But every single time it is with the prayer that I respect them. And do what I can, or should, or should not. And please make sure I do the best. We all deserve that. I never take it lightly that I am walking in to their life.