I haven't been blogging not due to the lack of inspiration. In fact, I've had so many different thoughts rumbling in my brain for the past few weeks, but I haven't really got any "Eureka" moments yet, so if I write them down, they're gonna sound like a rambling babble...but anyhow, let me just share one part of them anyhow.
Last Sunday was Father's Day in Finland, so all the stores were closed here in this small village (in some big cities some stores were open). Hubby and I went to MIL's place and together we brought cake for FIL at the old people's house. Unfortunately they had recently moved FIL to a different location 'coz they are renovating the building where he lived before and the renovation will take 2 years to complete. I said "unfortunately" because this new place wasn't build to be an old people's house, so it's lacking many essential things.
The day they moved some of the patients there (yeah, not all the patients were moved there, just some), my MIL went to the new place and she was shocked to see that there weren't even beds yet, so the patients were strapped into their wheelchairs (they were wheelchair-bound patients) and they were just sitting there for a long time. I have no idea what happened, but MIL said that the move seemed to be done in such a hurry that they didn't have time to do anything else in terms of preparation in the new facilities.
This new facility is a 2-bedroom house filled with 4 patients with a small kitchen and a dining area. In the previous facility, FIL had his own room - now he shares a room with another patient (during this renovation, they've reduced the fee to 50% of the monthly fee). Two of the patients had brought their TV there, but they didn't work. This new area requires a different kind of TV, so MIL is thinking of buying one for FIL, 'coz otherwise it's going to be boring there. In the old facility, there was a big common room area where patients could sit and talk and watch TV together, but now at least for someone like FIL, he only has the nurses and 3 other patients to talk to.
Anyhow, when we arrived, FIL was still asleep after lunch (we went there when it was time for coffee break) and the other 3 patients were sitting in the dining area. Turned out that they served Father's Day cake there in the new facility, so we didn't even cut the cake that MIL had bought. It took a few minutes to wake FIL up because he was so tired - the nurse said he had been really active in the morning, so it may be the reason why he was sleeping so soundly.
MIL then adjusted the bed to sitting position and fed him cake, helped him drink coffee, and then gave him a banana to make sure he was full enough before dinner. Then MIL got to chat a little with the 3 other patients and asked if anybody had come to visit them (they were all male). One of them answered no. I felt sad. How tough it must've been to know that your fellow housemates got visitors on Father's Day, but nobody came to visit you?
FIL looked fine, by the way - as fine as you can be when your Alzheimer's has robbed you of a good part of your memory bank. Before we visited FIL, my BIL who lived down south called and asked how FIL was doing. MIL said that she felt that the new place wasn't good at all for the patients' well-being and that she wouldn't be surprised if someone died of a broken heart. And she was also wondering if FIL was crying inside...She'd love to have him back in the apartment if she could afford paying for a daily nurse to help her take care of him, but she can't afford it. And she can't possibly take care of him on her own anymore.
It made me think that it's harder on the patients who are still "on earth" so much than those who don't really remember or realize anything anymore. I mean, their brains are still working pretty well even though their bodies have failed them. If I am ever in that kind of position, I don't know if I will be able to surrender peacefully to what I can no longer do. Yesterday it just hit me when I saw FIL there...what should I pray for him about? The only thing I could think of was "May God's grace, mercy, and peace be with him always." On the other hand, seeing him and the other patients makes me think of how unimportant so many things on earth that we deem "important" are. How trivial they are in stark contrast to what the patients need.
And this makes me long for heaven...There are other things that's made me long for heaven these days, but that'll require another long, winding post. I long for a place where we're stripped bare of our possessions, titles, labels, achievements...I long for a place where we're no longer caught up with this thing called "life".