Weekend update

I spent the weekend in Charlotte, helping my mom take care of my Grumps, who is in a nursing home, and needs to have someone with him 24×7. At this point, he’s disoriented and unhappy enough that the someone needs to be someone in the family. My Aunt Sister (whose real name is Jackie, and who, unsurprisingly is my mother’s sister) has been there for almost a month, staying with Grumps all day and all night, with relief from my mom on the weekends.

I went to Charlotte this weekend to relieve Mom, at least as much as I could. Grumps wanted Mom around at night, so I was there Saturday and Sunday during the day. It was a good thing in many ways (I got to spend some time with Grumps), but it was also really difficult because he’s not well, and he’s not himself (there’s a whole book that could be written here, and perhaps I’ll feel up to it tomorrow, but for now anyone who’s watched a love done get older and less able will understand).

On the positive side, the place he’s staying, Asbury, is really nice. It follows what’s called an Eden Tree philosophy which aims to maximize the “people-ness” of the place and de-emphasize the institutional. There are gardens that the residents can visit whenever they want (freedom of movement), lots of caregivers who seem to really put their heart into it (everyone I spoke with knew my Grumps’ name), real flowers, art therapy and animals. While I was there I met several *very well trained* dogs (washing hands afterwards and having had double-Clarinin’d), one really fat cat and a large cage full of budgies (parakeets? little colorful, chirpy birdies). There was a nest box, and inside the momma (and sometimes the poppa) birds sat on about 6 eggs. This, for whatever reason, made me really happy.

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