Monday, March 17, 2008

Aunt Honey

Please understand that all I am explaining here starts when I was age 10 to the age I am today 45.

My dear Aunt Honey has been in a nursing home for 6 to 7 years. When she was first admitted to a nursing home I went each week faithfully. We would talk to each other and I would read to her we would watch TV together. We interacted with each other well. She knew who I was and I enjoyed visiting her. Slowly as the years went by she began to show less and less interest in what was going on around her. Soon I would visit her and read to her just hoping for some acknowledgement that she knew I was visiting her.

Sometime I would talk to her about when I was a little girl (age 10) and she would come from her Adult program and baby sit with me and my sister. At first we thought we could get away with anything we wanted because she was a “little slow” mentally. We found out that we could not get away with anything. The first 2 days she was there she told dad every little thing we did. So we no longer tried.

We knew which bus she would be on so we would wait by the picture window because we could not go outside to play until she came over. When we would see her we would meet her on the porch steps and help her into the house. She would make us sandwiches and then we could play. She would sit on the porch and watch us as we played in front of the house we could not go out of her line of sight. On rainy days we would watch movies or play records and she would dance with us. Then one day we waited for her but she did not come. When mom and dad got home from work they asked us where she was we said she did not come today. It was a while before she would come again and this time when she did come she came by yellow taxi. We would wait for the taxi to come and then the fun would begin. Then one day the taxi did not come. And that was the end of Aunt Honey coming to care for us after school.

We would visit over Aunt Henrine and Aunt Honey’s house and stay for the weekend. We could have anything we wanted. Aunt Honey has a notebook that she would write numbers in and she always cut out coupons of items she wanted from the store. She knew which day her check would come and always wanted a new suit for church. She would watch the Carol Burnett show with us and we all laughed. After a while she stopped talking to us so much and then stopped laughing with us. Then stopped caring about anything and would lay in bed all day. She started having strokes and even with physical therapy she never could walk after a while. Then she was admitted to an Nursing home. At first our hope was she would be coming home some day soon. Then the reality came she would never come home again. Aunt Henrine visited her sister daily for all the 6 to 7 years she lived in nursing homes. If she would miss a day one of us, her nieces, would be there to stand in for her.

I stopped visiting my Aunt Honey when they put her on a feeding tube and she stopped responding to me. She looked like she was dead. She acted like she was dead. She has been clinically dead for at least a year. Today my Aunt Henrine came to realize the same thing and wants me to tell her what she should do. 4 months ago I was brave enough to tell her that the feeding tube needed to be stopped but she did not hear what I was saying. 6 Days ago the Dr told her that her sister was clinically dead and some decision needed to be made. She has called the Deacons of her church and they came and prayed over Aunt Minnie. But the feeding tube is still attached. Aunt Henrine wants me to tell her what she should do.

I had mourned the death of Aunt Minnie a year ago. And now I feel like I have to do the same again. How can I be of help to her?

1 comment:

Familyof2 said...

Recount your story to her...perhaps she needs to see it through the eyes of another. A wise woman once said that their daddy said "If you're going to walk in the shoes of another you need to be them" Or something like that...but perhaps you both need too make an even exchange for awhile...