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You'll Be Coming Home With Us

‘Round 5:15. on April 9th in 1967...wakened by a nearly imperceptible appeal... My and Sarah’s eyes would open simultaneously, wondering if the whimpering down the hallway might be real. Hearing them repeatedly, though faint and far between, Mother’s muffled calls for help defined our ‘what to do’, And - once again in unison - bursting from our beds, me and Sarah rushed to learn if what we feared was true. Mom had tried to make it to the bathroom on her own...something that we’d told her many times to never try. Lying just inside her door, her eyes were filled with fear, and as we knelt to lift her up we all began to cry. Each of us was well aware that - as we’d all agreed - should she ever fall again things would need to change. Often gone, and given both our kids have moved away...weren’t no about it, there was much to rearrange. The problem is - our farmhouse was constructed by Dad’s father...and our old man, now gone five years, was married to my mom For three days short of seven decades...quite a feat these days...and up until the measles took my older brother, Tom, She an’ Dad had done their best to make this place a ‘home’, sacrificing many things they’d planned to one day do To guarantee that Tom and I would have the same as others, despite the fact that most of what we had was far from ‘new’. Struggling hard to make ends meet...hand-me-downs were common...half or more of everything we owned was second hand... But, just like Dad and Grandpa - first the 4 of us - now 2...we’ve never once been tempted to give up and - sell our land. And me and Sarah understand her being so resistant - never having known another home for ninety years - But having someone near to keep an eye on folks like Mom is what she’s going to have to face...regardless of her tears. Sarah works in Derby Center almost every day...and I’m out ploughing - discing - spraying - planting 5 to 9 Every Spring...and then, of course, each Fall I pick the crop...then truck it to the feed mill on the Derby county line. Every couple hours I ring her up to, you know - check, making sure she’s safe and sound, provided she’s awake - And going through with moving her to someplace close - but safer - was the toughest damn decision that I’ve ever had to make. Well...just about a week had passed since moving her to Hillside, when Dr. Finley phoned to say, “Your mother fell again! She gets a little testy if we try to help her eat, and hasn’t stopped complaining since the day you moved her in. “We know how strong the tie can be to where one’s lived for years, but will, I promise, do our best to make her understand That all of us at Hillside know precisely how she feels, and realize that living here is not what she had planned. “I’m going to have to operate, but I’ll need your consent to do some minor surgery on a badly fractured bone. You’ll need to come to Hillside right away to sign the form, and make her see - in person --- this cannot done by phone --- “That if her hip is left as is, the bleeding will continue, and she’ll be gone in likely less than 2 – 3 hours from now. We see this all the time,” he said...“when forced to leave their homes - though promised they’ll --- ‘grow use to it’ --- they can’t perceive of how!” We dropped what we were doing and exploded off for Hillside, carefully running lights and stop signs - when we safely could, And charging to the check-in window, I informed the nurse, “I’m here to sign the form that Dr. Finley said I should “So he can fix my mother’s hip! He told me it was urgent!” “Here’s the form,” she offered, as she pointed where to sit, “after you’ve completed it I’ll rush it back to surgery. He’s Hillside’s finest surgeon, sir!” And I replied...“That’s it?!” “Yes, that’s it,” the young girl echoed, “Dr. Finley’s great. He told me, ‘once you’ve filled the form out, go to room eighteen’... That’s where Hattie’s resting...and he also said your mother has to be the most disheartened soul he’s ever seen!” This would give me second thoughts on forcing her to live there. Sarah sensed my apprehension...knew I was unsure... As - racing through my troubled mind a bunch of reasons not to countered my decision with --- the debt that I owe her. She’d walked away from special dreams for close to seven decades, taking care of Dad an’ me an’ Tommy every day, And now that Dad and Tom are gone - and she needs looking after - not prepared to change routines, we’re pushing her away! My overwhelming guilt - along with seeing Sarah’s tears - rectified our points of view, and knowing she’d agree, Just before they wheeled her out, one on either side - both of us aware of just how frightened she must be - With tears of joy we told her - ‘You’ll be coming home with us - the minute Doctor Finley had provided his OK’, And I went on to promise her - aside from situations where she would need a doctor... she was coming home to stay!

Copyright © | Year Posted 2022




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