“Mrs. Dunkin, can I get you anything?” “I’m fine dear, and you can call me Annie.” “Okay Annie, if you need anything you can just ring the bell. I hope you have a good night’s sleep.” “Good night, dear.”
I looked around the room astonished thinking this was going to be life now, until I died. I was in a nursing home. How did I get here? Oh I know, it was my idea. My son or daughter would have taken me in but I didn’t want to be a burden. My children objected to the idea but I knew secretly they were probably glad but who could blame them? Who wants to look after an old lady who forgets things? The doctor said I have early stage Alzheimer’s. Just the word frightens me. I took care of my dad when he had it, I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.
Tomorrow Julie and Jerry will bring the rest of my things from home. I can’t wait. I’m hoping it will feel more like home to me then. At least I can be grateful that I can afford a private room like this. I don’t know if I could share a room with someone.
I don’t mean to brag but we had money, lots of money. My husband, Hank, was a CEO. We had our home in Ohio and then a Florida getaway. When he died five years ago, I got rid of the Florida place. My kids thought I should keep it because of the bad winters; but I love the change of seasons too much to do that. I was what I would call a reluctant snowbird. Hank was the one who loved Florida and couldn’t wait until after Christmas to go. Every year, I would insist on staying in Ohio until Christmas and I only followed him because he loved it so. My son Jerry the financial planner will sell the home I was living in and invest the money. I should be in the clear moneywise; still leaving a large inheritance for my kids.
Just then she heard the phone ring loudly. I’ll have to adjust that, she thought. “Hello?” “Hi Mom is everything okay over there?” “Yes, Julie, I’m fine.” “Before we bring the rest of your stuff there, we just want to make sure you made the right decision. It seems to us that you made this decision rather hastily and like a flash you’re there.” “I’m sure. This is the right decision for me. I’m with people that are my own age. There are plenty of things to do here.” “But Mom, Jerry or I would love for you to be with us.” “I know but you both have families of your own. You don’t need to be worrying about me. That’s what I’ll be paying these people to do. Really Julie, I know I’m losing my mind but I haven’t yet and this is my decision. Please respect that.” “Whatever, you say mom. We’ll see you in the morning. Good night.” “Good night. I love you Julie.” “Me too mom.”
I climbed into bed. It wasn’t as comfortable as my bed at home but at least I had my comforter and pillow. I would have to see what I could do about this mattress.
As I lay trying to drift off to sleep, I could hear noises. I could hear people whispering in the hallway. I could hear someone yelling “help me, help me”. I could see the dim light in the hall. I got up and closed my door and finally it was dark and quiet. I guess these are things I’ll just have to get used to and drifted off to a restless sleep.
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