I am far too exhausted to write anything today; plus I have to work a full shift alone at the bookstore. Yesterday we moved my mom into a new facility that is a world away from the retirement complex where she has been living. She is now decidedly a part of the health care system, living on a floor with other residents, some of whom are, to put it politely, not higher functioning.
This leaves me with four initial observations.
First, she is now counted among them. Because of her hearing difficulties, I am sure some of the workers will write off her cognitive abilities. It reminds me of the old question: If you suddenly found yourself in an asylum, how would you convince them you shouldn’t be there? (For this, I recommend a classic novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.)
Second, I have great respect for the people who serve the health care industry. This would not be my career of choice. Not for a single day. The nature of the work itself, the demands of the residents, the government bureaucracy; these all combine to create a lot of stress. God, bless them every one.
Third, I thought a couple of times yesterday about Jean Vanier and Henri Nouwen. You can read five different Henri Nouwen items — a man who gave up a lucrative university academic life to work with developmentally challenged people who sometimes need two hours just to get dressed in the morning — at C201 here.
Finally, thank God for your mental health. You are sitting at a computer which I assume makes you one of the more higher functioning people in society, unless of course you are about to forward pictures of funny cats to everyone in your address book, in which case I take it all back.