My mother has been in a nursing home for the last month while she recovers from injuries due to a fall. My mornings consist of dropping the kids off at school and then heading over to the nursing home to care for Mom until mid-day.
It’s a small nursing home with a very warm family feel. Since I’m there every day, I’ve gotten to know the staff and they’re very familiar with me. What I didn’t expect was how well I’d get to know several of the other residents and how comfortable they would become with me. In the last couple of weeks I’ve gone from merely greeting the residents to becoming a surrogate daughter/errand girl/sympathetic shoulder and milk carton opener. I’ve even been the called upon on several occasions to go back to a resident’s room to retrieve false teeth.
During our mornings in the dining hall at the nursing home, I’ve also received an unexpected education. Although I’ll probably never use these skills, I’ve learned more about the way to milk cows, how to turn an old dress into an apron and how to spot the bad guy on Gunsmoke.
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is to cherish these new friendships for they will certainly be way too brief.