Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Safety First

Julia couldn't understand why Mary complained all the time. Well, this was her last day working for the old woman. She wouldn't miss the whining, but she hoped she could get another job real soon. Besides the money, she needed the telephone to call her mother in Haiti.

"Julia, where are you? I've been up for hours. I need to go to the bathroom."

"Just go in the diaper, Mary. I'm busy now." Julia was finishing her breakfast and looking at the television.

"I don't want to make in the bed. It smells bad enough in here."

"I just washed the sheets last week. OK, let's get you up. This is going to be a busy day."

"Are you leaving me here again?" Julia almost forgot that she wasn't supposed to let on about the move. Mary's daughter was tired of the daily complaints too. She had finally found a place where Mary could live near her. Although Julia thought Mary was doing just fine since she had moved in. Sure, before there had been some problems with falling. But now, the lights came on and off with a clap or a timer. The tub had been changed to a stall shower with rails and a seat. The doorbells chimed if anyone opened a door. Surely, Mary couldn't ask for better care.

"Oh, my feet are cold. Where are my slippers?" Mary's nightgown was open to the back to make it easier to put her on the toilet. Mary could use the bathroom and shower herself, but this is what Julia got paid for.

"You know I had to throw those out. You were slipping all over the place."

"Where is the rug I keep here by the bed?"

"It's in the closet. You can't have anything that you can slip on."

"I could get up myself if this metal bar wasn't here. And why do I have to sleep with these gloves on? My feet are cold, not my hands."

"The bar is there so you don't fall out of the bed during the night. The gloves are so you don't scratch yourself." Julia was tired of explaining the same things over and over."Come on, I have your cereal ready."

"I don't want cold cereal. I want pancakes and bacon."

"You know your daughter turned off the stove so we don't have a fire."

Julia walked right behind Mary. She felt a little sorry for her. Mary would certainly be safe from harm in the Nursing Home, but  she didn't want to think about her own Mother living in a place where safety came before love. 


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