Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Call Me Rain (Wo)Man

Another slow day at  the Mattress store. The weather was horrible (by Georgian standards) and people weren't out and about. I'm staying positive though, tomorrow will be MY day. My sister called me around noon. She had just left from visiting Frances in the nursing home. I was hoping to hear that Zach and I had just caught her on a bad day when we went last time and she was back to her feisty self.

No such luck. I asked my sister how Franny was and she summed it up with two words "Oh Kelly." I absolutely hated to hear that. She said Franny was despondent once again. Her minister was there to visit and my sister said he started to leave once she got there and leaned over to hug Frances. My sister said to let her write on the little board she has that he was leaving,  he shook his head and said she was even having a  hard time reading now. I noticed the same thing the other day when Zach and I visited. Sometimes when we would write something I could see her eyes following the words moving from left to right and she would nod or chuckle to let us know she read and got it. Other times she simply stared blankly at  the board and never even looked back up at  us.

You know, at this point in the game I just want God to take her and take her quickly, this is no quality of life for her and in her lucid moments even says "I just want them to leave me alone, why won't they just leave me alone?"

After Cindy got off the phone with me she called Frances' niece in Texas. Her niece agreed with me and Cindy and said she was just praying for God to take her quickly as well.

My sister called me while heading to the thrift shop where she volunteers (sometimes cell phones come in real handy) and we talked about Franny again. Cindy made the same comment I made to my son the other day, that we never want to be in a nursing home in that kind of shape. As much as I want a miracle for her I just can't see it in the cards. She suffers from heart problems, kidney failure, deafness, bad eye sight and now pretty much bed ridden with no way for us to even communicate with her. It will devastate us all when she is gone but if she's gotta  go, let it be quick.

I told Cindy the other day after we left from our visit with her I mentioned to Zach  that when Frances DOES pass on to her reward I want it to be a really uplifting funeral with lots of laughter and great stories about what an amazing, funny and independent woman Frances has been. He remarked wiping away tears he didn't think I noticed "Well then don't have that preacher who did Granpa's."

Cindy said that when she met Frances' minister today she was very impressed. He was a nice guy sporting a crew cut who had on khaki shorts, flip flops and wore a close trimmed goatee and mustache. In my book there's no reason to wear a suit and tie to a nursing home unless you're planning on them expiring while you're there and having the funeral immediately.

That got Cin and me talking again about funerals. We seem to do that more and more often the older we get and more funerals we attend.

 Her ex husband and father of her two boys died from Alzheimer's six years ago. They had been high school sweethearts and after they divorced he eventually remarried. I called his wife after he passed and told her if there was anything I could do to let me know. She shocked me by asking if I would speak at his funeral? That wasn't what I was expecting  but told her I certainly would. I worked on the eulogy for days and can remember reading it aloud again and again to Tim and our kids on the way  to his funeral. I had known him since I was a little girl and had many memories of him. I included every  funny story I could remember about him. I included all his greatest qualities and accomplishments and wanted to leave his sons sitting on the front row mourning the loss of their father smiling through their tears.  I may have missed my calling because when I sat back down and the preacher took over my brother leaned over to my sister and whispered "They should have left Kelly up there."

I can't imagine God making Frances suffer much more, she's endured enough.

Cindy and I also talked about when my grandmother died. It was a horrible funeral. They attended a Baptist church in Grant Park and  her preacher droned on and on about scripture and barely mentioned my grandmother. My sister suddenly said, what was his name, I didn't think I'd ever  forget it. He was Dr. (somebody)

I came back with the answer immediately: "It was Dr. Waters!" and my sister said that didn't sound right.  I told her come to think of it that wasn't right. Waters was the name of 'the poor old woman'  Mema and Papa picked up every Sunday to give a ride to church. We both started laughing, mainly because we used to go to church with Mema and Papa every time we spent the night on Saturday with them. They would talk about poor old Mrs.Waters, she's alone and feeble but we pick her up every Sunday on our way to church. Then they would pull up  to her house and a woman who  appeared to be exactly the same age of our grandparents would come out of her house, no walker, no cane and get into the back seat with us grand kids with no assistance.

Cindy couldn't for the life of her remember but KNEW the preacher's name but had reached her next destination so we ended the call.

Like I said, it was slow at  work so I kicked back on a bed and started to read my book. My boney butt can only take so much of sitting in an office chair.

I was reading away on a thousand dollar memory foam mattress when suddenly out of the blue the preacher's name came to me and can't believe ME of all people would forget. His name was Dr. Kelly.

I knew Cin was working her thrift store gig so I text her cell and wrote "Duh! Stupid me to forget Mema's preach's name. Dr. Kelley...must really be a thinking mattress I'm sprawled out on." She text back in a few and wrote "Of course! TY. Whew."
Sounds crazy but I just have the gift of memory. Not ten minutes later I was reading my book when even remembered the preacher's first name. I shot off another text to Cin reading "Bonus points for first name too. Dr. Prue Kelley...dang this really IS a memory  foam mattress."  She text back and wrote "Sleep tight" to which I replied "Don't tempt me"   Five minutes later I got  text from her "You're Rain Woman." I text back and said "Gotta go, time for Judge Wampner."

I didn't speak with her til a few hours later but asked if she got the 'Wampner' joke? She thought I meant I had TV to watch some show. For Pete's sake...who remembers Rain Man but doesn't remember  that he freaked out if he couldn't watch Judge Wampner on People's Court?

I better start getting my material ready for my sister's funeral!

I absolutely hate it that we are losing Franny but if she has to go, God...make it quick. Nursing homes are an industry and the longer she remains alive the longer they get thousands of dollars a month from her medicaid . My sister told me today  that the aides who came in today to help when Frances needed a bed pan "Quick" took a few minutes but when they came in took care of her. My sister told them when they left she hoped they got paid really well for all they do. The young woman said they barely made over minimum wage.

What's wrong with our country? If Frances is going to die, let her do it at home where she feels comfortable. So she would have to have a person there 24/7 to help her on the bed pan and fix her meals. She's not eating much anymore, doesn't want dialysis or anything else to extend her suffering. They could surf the net or watch TV when Frances didn't need assistance. Then this person (like the aide from the nursing home) could be paid twice minimum wage and our Diddy's cousin could go to her reward in a familiar environment. It might cost some money but it sure wouldn't be four grand a month. (the average cost of a nursing home)

Of course  these are all just MY opinions, but that's what my blog is all about. When Franny finally goes to her much deserved reward and hopefully soon for her benefit...even if they don't ask for anyone to speak at her funeral I'm going to.

I'll always remember her crackly, scratchy voice. I've only known her for a few short years but knowing her has enriched all of our lives and feel blessed she came into my life.

Til next  time...COTTON

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