Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Staying Strong

When I talked to my sister the other day I was left feeling sad. As you know she had a stroke a couple of years ago. She has been in a nursing home for several months now. She hates it but realizes that it is the best option.

She is still undergoing physical therapy. She wants desperately to be able to sit up and eventually walk. After such a long time that does not seem likely.

At least her mind and speech have returned. We have nice conversations about our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. We catch up on news about other family members. We talk of memories of our childhoods.

We were talking about making mulberry wine this time. Our grandparents had several mulberry trees on their farm. We would pick as many as we could.

Then we squeezed part of them into glasses of water to make our "wine'. The rest of the mulberries were in small containers. We ate the berries and drank the wine. They were fabulously glamorous tea parties for the sophisticates we pretended to be.

Somehow the conversation turned to longevity of life. I have already lived a longer life than either of my parents. My sister is getting close to the same.

I mentioned that I plan on living to at least the age of 81 years. I have always wanted to be one of those crotchety old women who say exactly what they are thinking. 81 seems to be the age I would be able to do that.

My sister told me she would hold me to that.  Then she said that she had the feeling she would not be here much longer.

I asked her why she felt that way. Is there something someone has said? No. It is simply a feeling she has.

I was taken aback. I worry that she will give up. Her life is so difficult right now.

Her husband and son love her. Each visits her every day. My nephew told me she is doing well but sometimes she has bad days.

She also has a new roommate. The woman has dementia and is often delirious. She wakes up screaming all through the day and night so my sister is not getting much sleep.

Her husband is working to get her another roommate. I hope when she gets adequate sleep she will feel more positive.


  1. Lack of sleep diminishes life in every way, and the nursing home administrators should know that. What they are doing is wrong. Your BIL should keep advocating, and you should go thump a cane on the floor and tell them to move her. Canes cost less than $5 at the drug store, but carry a lot of authority. Please do it.

  2. I wish nursing homes routinely provided single rooms to everyone, not just the people who can afford to pay more. It is hard enough to give up your home, your life, your friends, but to have to give up your privacy and room with strangers, well - it seems like they could do better.

    1. Money is collected and patients' needs overlooked too often.It is a sad fact.

    2. She rather enjoyed talking to the woman who had been there. The problem was that the woman decided my sister was my brother-in-law's mistress. She kept telling him to go home to his wife.

  3. I hope your sister feels better.

    1. Thank you. After this long I do not believe that she will be able to get around on her own again. I never tell her that though. She is a fighter and needs to keep fighting.