It is a hopeless venture, wiping the butts of the aged. My mother’s constant crapping in her pants and fatigue not to want to shower are a horrendous combination that shakes my positive outlook.
Ask the beautiful nurses in the facility, where she hangs her coat, she’s slipping into the coma of her former self – childhood.
She asks me how I am doing, but her latest spill can only indicate the rough interaction of her head with the floor adding insult to the injury of Alzheimer’s. She’s perhaps the only mobile person in these beds of the disintegrating; but that lack of a handicap is slipping.
We all die and we die by losing the quality of life that eventually overshadows the joy of living.
Taking her out of the facility becomes such a chore and even dangerous. Her unwashed body is a hazard and explains why they all acquire MRSA. Every bed has the story of multiple demises, a series of deathly corpses wafted up in the smoke of the unwashed solitude of a past life smothered in the germs that came before. I wonder how many pretty faces comb these halls as employees against the backdrop of such a slow death? The whinnying, the circling of wagons of wheel chairs before the nurses’ station, the false smiles of some of the attending, all of whom are busy working.
It saddens me at this rest stop of the physically diminishing, that every mouth sags and that every television distracts. These are the last impulses fluttering before them.
It is true that we become bodies in our elder states shitting and pissing like birds.
Decorum is the obsolescence as long white hairs protrude from chins. Our teeth are now plastic foreign objects with which we cannot chew. My mother goes through $600 dentures like a child goes through clothes, except there are no hand-me-down inserts that can be negotiated with the two real teeth she has. Denture cream is never going to happen and so it is a lie.
There’s nothing left and so I don’t recommend it. There are no golden years at the end of this rope, no fading glamorous light akin to sunrise. The wisdom of age is simply to fall asleep and never dream again; hope lifts out of you and blows away.
We just get too tired to care, then carelessness overtakes us and unless there is external care, the bacteria eventually win. The body cannot fight till the end all the hedonistic forces begging to dig right in.
How much I love the memories of my father, my Aunt Mary, my Uncle Mike, and there are others as the good ones who succumbed.
My Aunt Connie is still mad at my mother for exhausting my father, she believes, to death. My mother must have told him to watch the children before she’d run away, where she could remember her dreams amid the silence of her former self. I have her personality. I cannot have children; I am too selfish. But, I see in their bright faces and mobility the dream of the past, their cute repartees, the snot leaking from their noses, the wanting to be seen jumping from piece of furniture to piece of furniture, their plans during tea parties. All is the revolt to being tied; and the prospect of self-governance is everything.