Friday, August 22, 2014

A Funny Thing Happened at Eiffel Gardens

Two years ago this month, Eiffel Gardens, an assisted living facility, has become home to my mother. She enjoys the delicious meals, visits from family and friends, but mostly keeping a bit of  her independence. 

When Mom moved in the home, she insisted on getting a wheelchair. Physical therapist started coming three times per week to make sure she walked. When she found out she could fire them, she did, saying, "I don't need anyone to tell me when to walk or how far."

Today, she's become lazy about walking. She stays in that wheelchair except to use the bathroom. The walker sit in the corner, never getting used

OR so we thought....

Until a couple of weeks ago. While I rolled Mom to her room, (from outside on the patio where we'd been enjoying the cooler day), a worker stopped us then, bent down to speak in my mother's ear. "Mrs. Annie, did you have a visitor in your room, yesterday?" 

Mom replied, "That was my other daughter."

 "No, I'm talking about a MALE visitor."

When I pieced together the her and Mama 's story, I came up with this. I hope you get a good chuckle. 

Mama lay in bed taking her afternoon nap when the door opened. An (obviously disoriented) elderly man, a new resident at Eiffel Gardens, walked into her room holding a plastic thermos. "Can I get some water in this?" Mr. Green asked 

Mama rolled over and told him, "You're in the wrong room. The ice is in the kitchen." 

He ignored her, walked close to Mom's bed, then sat down in her wheelchair. Just SAT there holding his thermos. Well...Mama was having none of that! She threw the covers back, got out of bed then adjusted the foot rests on the wheelchair for him. After opening the door she pushed Mr. Green straight down the hall, back to his appointed room. All the while Mr. Green sucked on the straw protruding from his dry thermos, enjoying the free ride. 

While Mom helped him into his easy chair, a worker came in. Guessing what had happened, she said to my mother, "Sit down in the wheelchair, Miss Annie, and I'll roll you back."  Mom did and enjoyed the return trip to her room. LOL. 

I related the incident to my brothers and sisters. The incident we would have never known about if the assisted living employee hadn't spilled the beans. Everyone had a good laugh, but mostly, we kids were amazed that our mother could walk. She never lets on that she can do any more than get out of the wheelchair at the bathroom door.

A year prior to entering Eiffel Gardens, our mother, at age 91, still mowed her yard with a riding mower. Though one brother took over the mowing, she never stopped packing in firewood we children stacked on the porch.

Sad to say, Mr. Green's family was alerted. They came to get him. This was the third time he had been in my mother's room. It was sadder because he left  a wonderful lady (in the first stages of dementia), he had fallen in love with. It was endearing to see Mr. Green and Mrs. Odom  walking the halls, hand in hand. Rarely, was one seen without the other. I thought to myself,  "It's like the blind leading the blind." I wonder if these Love Birds miss each other, or...if they remember each other.


Susan Page Davis said...

What a sweet story, Laurean! Thanks for making me smile.

Miss Mae said...

Your mom is something else! I can't imagine being as spry as she, and I'm nowhere near my 90's! LOL

A bit sad about Mr. Green, though. I wish the best for him.

Thanks for sharing, enjoying learning this. :)

Laurean Brooks said...

I'm glad you liked it, Susan. You never know what will happen at Eiffel Gardens.

I just hope I make it to my 90s. LOL.

Laurean Brooks said...

Yes, it is, Miss Mae. I hope they didn't resort to putting Mr. Green in a nursing home. He was a sweet gentleman and had only been there a week.

Renee said...

I guess your mom still has a few secrets!

Gail Pallotta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gail Pallotta said...

Your mom sounds like a fun, lively lady, and a determined one too. The incident sounds like it could find its way into one of your books in a bit of a different version.

Laurean Brooks said...

Or maybe, Renee, she likes the attention she gets by appearing helpless? LOL.

I love her and admire her spunk.

Laurean Brooks said...

Gail, it's crossed my mind to write a fictional story about an assisted living residence. I read one a few years ago and laughed all the way through it. The funniest book I ever read.

One scene I remember in it. Madge says, "What's wrong with Elberta? Her back looks lumpy."

Geraldine replies: "For heaven's sake! Elberta has her bra on backwards...again."

Larry Hammersley said...

I enjoyed the incident, Laurie. Our church members sing at a local nursing home the third Tuesday every month but we're only there 30 minutes. We don't witness much during that time but enjoy associating with them. Mom was there in the closing moments of her life. Before her stroke she seemed to win all the prizes they offered now and then. I doubt I'll make it to 92. Too much stress in my life. I hope Mr. Green is happy where ever he is now and my best for your mom.

Laurean Brooks said...

Larry, thank you for dropping by. Comical things happen at Eiffel Gardens almost every week.

A little (Barney Fife-type man)"Chester," likes swapping jokes. He asks every time I see him, "Do you know any new ones?" When I ask him the same, he replies, "No, I count on you to provide me with new material."

I, too, hope Mr. Green is happy, wherever he is.

Danielle Thorne said...

That is the sweetest story ever!

Regina Merrick said...

So sweet!! Your mom sounds like a lot of fun! :)