Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Poetry Wednesday, Vol. 53

It is with mixed emotions that we say goodbye to Lois today. We gave notice with the state and things have moved slowly/quickly to place Lois in a Nursing Facility. It is such a strange thing to welcome a person into your home, embrace them as part of your little family, knowing that you have the power to decide when they will leave.

Lois lived with us for 11 months now, closing in on a year. It was a difficult decision to say good bye. As soon as we decided to give notice to her guardian, an incredible physical burden was lifted from our shoulders. We felt a lightening of spirit and mind, knowing that after a time we would no longer be responsible for her day to day care. Yet we also felt sadness and regret, knowing that we would rather keep her here. Knowing that unless she is very fortunate, she will not be able to form relationships in the revolving door she will be living in. We know her very intimately. We know her habits, her likes and dislikes, we know how she becomes anxious with change, how new people alternately excite and confuse her. We hope she will form friendships, we hope she find someone happy to sit and listen to her never ending stories, we hope there is someone willing to play music for her on her disc player.

As I packed up her things over the last two days, I thought, this is it. We end with twelve cardboard boxes to our name. And 11 of those boxes are of absolutely no importance to us. For those of us with an Eternal perspective, those boxes don't matter. We may leave this world with nothing to our names, and we will leave it with joy. We will leave family and friends who will grieve our passing, but who will rejoice in our heavenly home and the hope of a future reunion. We do not know what Lois' hope is. It was subject of much discussion in our household. Does the Grace grasped by the mentally unstable affect their lives, when they do not remember what was barely understood moments ago? We grieve for our loss when she leaves and we pray for hope for her.

Lois doesn't know what is in any of those dozen boxes, she can't remember her family members' names, she doesn't know what pyjamas she wore last night. This morning, Mike loaded her things in the van as she sat and had breakfast with the me and the boys. We ate, I helped her take her pills, we laughed at the dog, begging for treats. She noticed Mike moving back and forth and commented on his busyness. But she did not understand what was going on. Her family has told her she is going to rehab for her bad leg, and that story works for us. Why upset her? She may have vague inklings of the happenings around her, but why further sadden and confuse her with fears of a nursing home?

When it was time to leave, the boys gave her extra hugs and kisses, I gave her a little extra hug, but she was quick to let go, quick to move on to her next adventure. "Bye! See you tonight!", she left hanging in the air as she walked out the door.

Good Night

Wilhelm Muller

I came as a stranger; as a stranger now I leave. The flowers of May once
welcomed me warmly; a young girl spoke of love, her mother even of marriage.
Now all is bleak--the pathway covered with snow.
The time of departure is not mine to choose; I must find my way alone in
this darkness. With the shadow of the moon at my side, I search for traces of
wildlife in the white snow.
Why should I linger and give them reason to send me away? Let stray hounds
howl outside their master's house. Love likes to wander from one to another,
as if God willed it so. My darling, farewell.
A quiet step, a careful shutting of the door so your sleep is not disturbed,
and two words written on the gate as I leave, "Good night," to let you know I
thought of you.


Michelle said...

what mixed emotions... and a perfect poem to express them.

thinking of you as you go through this transition in your family - life without Lois.

God bless you for your servant's heart!

Molly Sabourin said...

Oohh, this made ME so teary - we are just tearing and sniffling it up today! Michelle is right, that poem expresses perfectly your understandable roller coaster of emotions. This post is beautiful and true and honest. May Lois and your family be blessed with peace.

Beth said...

Just tears for you all.

amber said...
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amber said...

"Love likes to wander from one to another..." The poem and the departure of Lois from your home reminds me that the security we feel in the love of our family is not something we should take for granted. In fact, all to often that it is something we are only given for a time. And while it is important to honor and respect these relationships--particularly when family bonds are regularly threatened by outside forces--it is also important to know how to say "goodbye" with grace and continued love. I am awed by the fortitude and goodness it took to welcome a stranger into your home for a year, as well as the wisdom to know when it is time for her to go.

Beth Hanna said...

I'm sorry to hear Lois has left you and I know going into the nursing home was difficult. I'll pray for her, as I know she's probably even now waiting for Mike to come pick her up and take her "home". My heart goes out to ALL of you!! Love you.