Clouds Over Oskaloosa, Clouds In My Head

I’ve been spending the last week sitting by a 12′ X 3′ double pane glass window: My view is 1/3 grass, 1/3 white-washed brick wall, 1/3 sky. Running through my mind as I stare at the sky are 1/2 pleasant, 1/2 troubling.

The pleasant thoughts are of my impending retirement–one more year of teaching. The anticipation of spending more time with my parents are foremost in my mind. Taking my mother to shows, foreign films (haha–in Pensacola??–not a chance), and nice restaurants are the things she misses most since my father is now wheel-chair bound and the things I can do with her.

I have pleasant thoughts of traveling abroad with Dapper G–it’s what we have striven for all these years. Sailing around the Mediterranean to the Greek Isles, revisiting Alaska, diving in Tahiti, sports fishing off of Madeira and Australia, climbing Machu Pichu–these are just some of the places on our travel bucket list.

But my troubled thoughts are of my parents. Will we have to move to Florida temporarily to watch over the folks as they get closer to their 90s? What will the quality of their life be like within the next few years? These are all questions that countless Baby Boomers like me are faced with today. (My in-laws are 92 & 90.)

When I walk the halls of this specialty care center, I know that I could never leave my parents in a nursing facility: across the hall a woman is moaning loudly, two people are lying on their gurneys in the hallway with all their privates exposed, the smell of medicines permeate the air and are nauseating, the sterile rooms are depressing. But it’s the empty stares that trouble me most.

©Teresita Abad Doebley All rights reserved 2009-2011.

Fact:MCLEAN, Va., June 17 (UPI) — Most baby boomers, though likely to handle parents’ care, are ill-informed, but new information can help, a U.S. government agency says.

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6 thoughts on “Clouds Over Oskaloosa, Clouds In My Head

  1. I have just discovered your blog and have been reviewing some posts. This one especially struck my heart, since I am going through some comparable changes with my parents. Dad is needing more care now than the retirement center Mom and Dad were both in–we have found a good place that thus far seems to be steps above what you describe–but careful monitoring is needed. Knowing they are somewhere safe and getting the care they need is the top concern. My parents are both 91–and right now not together (in facilities next door to each other) since Mom does not need the more estensive care Dad does. It is a hard transition for all! It is somehow helpful being abe to commiserate with someone on the same journey, even if at different points on the path.

  2. Sending you virtual hugs on this journey… We are with you…
    It’s been a hectic week and I’m now catching up with everyone.
    A Peaceful weekend to you! 🙂

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts of retirement, travel hopes, and parent care. I hope you will be able to combine them all as needed, and have a rich and full experience of life where both giving and receiving happens.

  4. Hi Terry. I posted that I “liked” this blog posting, but I am not sure that like is the right word. Very powerful and honest. Both of my parents have passed already, so I am not faced with this directly, but it is an issue facing so many of us today. My thoughts and prayers are with you in this.

  5. I’ve seen a version of that same experience many times while my grandmother was in nursing homes in Arizona. Fortunatelty, we found one that was wonderful and we visited daily. I believe, though, that what you experienced, unfortunately, is quite common. I would never leave someone in such a facility if I could not be there to check on them regularly.

    Enjoy your pleasant thoughts, though, too! You will need them to get through the next year!

  6. This piece of non-fiction(concerning feelings) is more powerful than any made-up or imagined horror from an author.
    Your conflict is so real and so harsh, everyone reading this will sit helpless, wanting to share with you your pain.
    Excuse the elaborate way I am trying to say…we are with you…powerless to help…but still there\
    love and prays

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