Thursday, November 10, 2011

Goodbye, Normandy Village


My mother will be leaving her home of over 30 years to start a new chapter of her life. Rather than go into all the minutiae, let me just tell you that she is out of the hospital and has no lasting effects from the stroke.

Two doctors confirmed that she is in the advanced stages of Parkinson's Disease and that she should not be living alone. She had fallen a few days before her mini-stroke and admitted to me that she had fallen several other times in the past, as well as hallucinating some days, and recently waking up from a daze to find her cache of pills strewn all over the living room floor with no knowledge of what took place.

Scary.

With two referrals in hand for a nearby senior community off I went early Monday morning. A sweet, energetic tour guide named Karen, excitedly showed off all the amenities. It felt like I was sending my mother to kindergarten. I was thinking how I'd go back and say "Oh, mama, you'll absolutely love the LSU room. Wait til you see all the beautiful LSU wreaths the residents made for their doors!"

This current role of caregiver to my independent mother (think Mary Tyler Moore) is new and strange and jarring. It is one of the drawbacks of being an only child. I'm on deck for every little decision, responsible for it all. With three of her brothers and a sister looking on, I cannot fail. There's no one else to point to if something goes wrong.

Mama was super stoked to go visit the facility so back out to the home we went. Karen was gracious enough to do the tour all over again even though I had just left her 30 minutes prior. As we walked toward the unit that my mom might soon call home, we ran into a group of very well dressed, manicured ladies who stopped to chat. One lady decked out in purple and gold said, "How 'bout those players Saturday night? I wanted to give each one of those boys a great big kiss!" (#1 LSU had played #2 Alabama, with LSU the victor.)

As we walked away Karen whispered, "That was Les Miles' mom."

Les Miles is the head coach of the LSU Tigers.

You should have seen my mom's face! Her eyes were huge and she was literally beaming.

I said, "Well, if this place is good enough for Les Miles' mom, it's good enough for my mom!"

So there we are. Once the paperwork is in place I will go back and help her pack for her exciting new adventure.

At this moment I want to give all my special blogging friends a great big hug! I was so busy and so distraught that I hardly noticed being without a computer for seven days. But as I was waiting on my flight I thought of all the blog reading that I normally enjoy each day and I was suddenly missing you all terribly, wondering what you had been up to. Obviously I can't go back and catch up on every single post, but I will do my best as time allows to get caught up with all of you. I truly MISSED YOU!

These flowers are for you. My uncle, whom I refer to as "The Godfather", picked them himself. :)



24 comments:

Starla said...

Glad to hear that you found your mother a new home and adventure that she is looking forward too! It is not a fun road to travel, from child to caretaker. But it sounds like the first exit ramp went smoothly!!

TexWisGirl said...

i am glad your mother will not have lasting effects from the stroke, and i'm very glad you've found a new place for her. i know this is incredibly stressful for you (both). not being in the same town/state must be terribly difficult for you...

Nadine, Chewy and Lilibell said...

Gail, I am so glad that your Mom recovered from her stroke. Now it sounds like she is off on a grand adventure! She will be much better in a place where there are others to watch over her and to provide companionship, not to mention that it will give you peace of mind knowing she is not alone.

hootnonny said...

After reading this post, Gail, I know your mom will love her new home! I've missed you too; though I don't blog regularly, I read regularly!

Happydog said...

As an only child who spent the last year and a half taking care of and sadly burying both parents I can fully understand! I did see the upside of being an only child because while every decision was my responsibility it also meant I didn't have to get agreement from siblings. Which based on watching friends with siblings go through this process is fraught wilth baggage and disagreements. Just remind yourself your doing the best you know for your Mom. It sounds like your Mom is excited about her move, unlike my Dad, and this is great! Finding things to enjoy with her is a real gift. All the best in this new time in your life too?

Pat said...

It's great to hear that you've found a wonderful new place for your mom where her needs will be met. The flowers your uncle picked are lovely!

Anonymous said...

I'm nearly as thrilled as you are about finding your mom a new "home" in a facility that is obviously going to be very good To her and For her!! My daughter is the head nurse at a new assisted living facility here in Post Falls, Idaho - the caregivers are absolutely wonderful.. it takes a special person to treat others like they're your own family. Now.. time for you to breathe.. and relax, knowing she's in good hands!!
Big Bugs,
Sandy aka "Scarlett" on flickr

Evelyn S. said...

It's nice to have you back....and it's good to hear that you've found a good safe place for your mother.

Hilary said...

Always a tough decision that many of us have to help our parents make but it sounds as if together, you have found the right place. Relax knowing that your mother will be in good hands. Thank you for those flowers. They're beautiful.

missing moments said...

Such a big job finding a new home for a loved one! It sounds like she is delighted and quite happy to begin her new chapter. So glad no lasting effects from the stroke and hope she makes lots of new friends. You are a good daughter!

the wild magnolia said...

Making major decisions can be so hard, long and drawn out, and rock your world.

How great you have found a good place for your Mom to live, where she will receive the best care.

Good news, so happy for you.

((hugs))

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Another new beginning. Wonderful you seem to have found the right place for your mum, hope she settles in really well. My dad had Parkinson's and dementia, diagnosed at 60.

Barbara said...

That sounds like a wonderful place! I'm so glad you found a good one. I know it will give you peace of mind. Sending a big hug and thank you so much for the flowers! (Tell your uncle he did good!)

ladyfi said...

Such a tough decision, but it sounds as if you've found a great place for your mom.

Linda R. said...

what great news.. And it sounds like everything is going well.. I wish your Mom all the best and you to my friend that has to be hard to make all those tough decisions.. I will be praying for you!!!

Henrietta said...

I'm only child too and for my mothers side there is no one left, she is the only one so all that what you are going through will be my destiny too. The new home sounds really good and I'm so glad your mother survived from stroke without any side effects.
Thank you for the roses I give you a virtual hug for change:)
Have a nice weekend, I'm off to Spain for a week.

beth said...

it surely sounds that this next chapter in your mother's life, hand picked by you, is going to be perfect for her.

she is so blessed to have YOU !!!

lisa said...

Gail,
I am so glad that everything worked out. It is difficult no matter what because it is the closing of a chapter, but the fact that Mom is not unhappy about the move, makes it the beginning of an exciting new chapter, for both of you.
xo.

Shug said...

Hi Gail...
So glad that your mom is recovering from this set back...Girl, I feel for you. These are things that we never really take the time to think about..We just don't expect them to happen so soon...
So glad that you and your mom feel comfortable about the decision that you have so graciously made. It does help, knowing that our parents are comfortable and it sounds like she will be...Praying for you sweetie. You have a lot on your plate right now, so hang in there and know that there are people praying for your strength...Hugs,
shug

Kittie Howard said...

Decked out in purple and gold - oh, but I smiled. Your mom is going to love it there. She'll soon have a circle of friends, with activities to keep her busy with energy she didn't know she had. That's what happened with Alice, a lady who lived down the street. All will work out with decisions ahead. Don't fret!

Thank you for purchasing a copy of Remy. I hope I don't let you down. Sales are very good. Hope they hold as I launched during a blitz for another blogger, which I didn't realize would happen. Big world out there, eh?

justine said...

I'm glad all is well and ok now, it's great you have found your mother a new home.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

I'm so happy that you found a nice place for your mom and more importantly, she seems to be happy with it as well.

So sorry I missed your post about her stroke. I had no idea. Sending healing vibes her way.

septembermom said...

I think your Mom is going to enjoy her new home. It sounds like a lovely and welcoming place for residents and visitors. Thank you for the hugs and the beautiful bouquet. I love that last photo of your uncle. Very nice.

I'm very happy that your Mom is recovering well after the stroke. I couldn't help but smile thinking of her as Mary Tyler Moore. She must be amazing in every way. Just like you :)

Thanks so much for your friendship and prayers. It means so much to me! Hugs back to you... Kelly

Rosie said...

I'm so glad things have worked out well after that first shock for everyone! I'm thinking of you! xo, Rosie