Miss Bee’s Bolivar Buzz

Shannon WilliamsBy Shannon Williams
In the song, “The Circle Game” by Joni Mitchell, it tells of a child as he moves through the seasons of life. This past week that song came to mind many times, as we again moved my 93 year old mother to “a higher level of care”. In my work that is a term that we use in our HUD paperwork, when a resident can no longer live on their own.

My parents lived in Big Spring, in West Texas from 1967 until 2007, about 42 years. They moved to Lubbock, Texas after my father had several rides in the back of an ambulance to seek medical treatment in Lubbock. He said that was no fun, so time to return to “the scene of the crime” as they married in Lubbock after my father got out of Pilot training school in the 50” s. Dad has been gone about 10 years, and about a year after he died my mother announced that she was moving to a community for seniors. It had it all, cottages, apartments, assisted living and memory care.

She loved her apartment, but never really took part in all that was offered, and spent most of her time with my younger sister, who also lived in Lubbock. They enjoyed watching PBS and Hallmark, going to church and Chinese takeout! In September of 2020, right in the high part of Covid, we moved her to assisted living. She was not too keen on the whole plan, but it was time, so she gave it a try and grew to love her little apartment where she could watch the birds and again watch her Hallmark. Due to the restrictions her first year, there was not much happening, but Mom did not mind, she has always enjoyed her own company. By the time everything opened back up, she just did not want to be around many people, so we decided to have her meals brought to her. She was so glad when my sister could visit face to face again. Since my sister is a nurse, she was able to sign up as my mom’s nurse and get in face to face after only a few months.

At her age, you really don’t know if it is dementia or Alzheimer and it really does not matter. One of my dear friends calls it “dropping petals” and of course you cannot drop petals if you did not have their beautiful blooms first. The petals have been dropping a little faster and again we moved. We decided to leave the senior community and go into a small care home. It is called a Bee Hive! and they house up to 15 seniors and can do total care, as long as they don’t wander.

We have tried to involve her in the decision, but all she wanted was to go home. I asked her where was home and she looked at me and said in Big Spring, I have a husband and a dog and need to get back to them. It comes and goes, but sundown is not good. You never know how to respond, I have read and read and deal with this often in my work, but this is so difficult. If you let her know that dad and Mickey (the dog) are gone, does she relive the grieve? I usually just give up and let her know it is a long drive and we need to rest and I will be there to get her in the morning. When I arrive, she was eating with the other ladies!! Yea for her and told me she liked her new places, of course that lasted a few minutes. We are going to plant some trees outside her window as it is a vacant lot and no trees and thus no birds.

As I was driving home, my older sister who had been with me during the week called to let me know when she went to mom’s room that morning, one of the staff was sitting next to her looking out the window at really nothing, but just sitting there with her. It was a long drive home, but I knew we had her where she needed to be. I guess is really is just part of the Seasons changing just like Joni Mitchel sings.


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