Friday, February 18, 2011

The 5 and Dime - The Library

I have had a revelation come to me from watching Kenny these past months and I want to share it in hopes it may help someone else who will be following our path. First I have to begin by giving you a little background.

As a young woman, rising five children virtually by herself, Kenny would escape to her books for solace. A voracious reader and lover of books she was never awarded nearly enough time to read all she longed for. Her escape came usually in the afternoon while her children were napping. This of course was after many hours of changing diapers, rocking babies, preparing meals, breaking up fights, cleaning up vomit and so on and so forth for day after day. But when nap time came she ran to her bookshelf to snatch one of her favorite reads. Finally her escape from the mundane had arrived and she could be transported to another world for hopefully an hour or so. I have taken a picture of a part of her shelf for you to examine.

No where will you find "Debbie Does Dallas", "Hungry for Love", "Kamasutra" or anything of the sort. Look carefully and read the spines and you will see Einstein, E=MC2 ..... Now I know of NO ONE who has ever or will ever read these titles on their own volition. Most people I know wouldn't even read them if required without Cliff Notes but enough of my personal comments. You now have the necessary background to understand where I am going.

Due to her insatiable love for books Kenny supported her local library. She bestowed numerous books as well as donated a substantial amount financially to the library. She was indeed one of their larger contributors. Her progeny also gained this love so we can fully empathize with her but I have now arrived to the part where I can explain my revelation.

While Kenny was younger doing all this donation stuff I think she should have put the money into a savings account and let it accumulate. A person could name that account something they could easily remember, like let's say, hummmm.... "Library Account". This savings would grow and grow to be rather respectful I would imagine.

Now if you fast forward to old age, say 86 years old all of a sudden you become the charity and pray your money will last as long as you do. Donations to all these other wonderful endeavors pretty much dries up. At this ripe old age many folks have become forgetful, call it dementia, Alzheimer's or just getting old. For Kenny, the pix below describes her plight.

We also have no interest in collecting another thing at this stage of the game not even books so we visit our local library. There is one gigantic problem however that we could not foresee nor can seem to overcome. Every book ever held in Kenny's hands were marked and underlined with comments written in the margins. She underlines like it is her job, totally forgetting our words like "this is not your book", "this is a borrowed book", "leave your pencil in the other room while reading."

Due to the markings these books are no longer usable for the library consequently they must be replaced with new, clean copies. Do you remember that "Library Account" we set up years ago? Aahaaaa, we now withdraw from there and everyone is happy. Of course we have enough in the coffers to pay for a new wing to the library(this is if we actually had set up this account) but that dang proverbial question will still rear it's ugly head once again, "Will we have enough money to make it till the end of her life?"

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The 5 and Dime - She calls it a "job", we call it.....

We call it a dream come true. As some of you know Kenny has a "job". She works on Monday and Friday at The Brian Center, the nursing home facility where she resided for over three years.

Upon bringing Kenny home to live once again on her farm, she was thrilled at the prospect but was also a bit blue at having to say good by to those folks at the Center. To remedy this problem Kenny signed up as a volunteer to work approximately 4 hours a day for those two days a week.

Now if I confess truthfully about how we caretakers feel about the situation I would have to admit we would have paid good money for this set up. I don't want anyone to think ill of us for having such hearts because you truly need to put yourself in our shoes. Think about this: your Tour of Duty (a 10 day shift) consists of only you and your mother; alone on 50 acres; away from family, friends and people in general; playing games again as you did with your small children; having someone knocking on the bathroom door wondering if you are in there..... Have I made myself clear? Ok, so you are also now embracing our same thoughts so allow me to elaborate about her "job".
Kenny arrives at 11:45 am to many hugs and kisses from the staff. She then proceeds to find her place in the dining room to gain nourishment from a hot lunch so she will be fortified for the task ahead. After lunch there was some misguided thought that Kenny would help other residents play Bingo because some don't have the motor control to place the buttons on the cards, some can't hear the caller and some just don't care but Kenny has no limitations and believe you me, she does care. Heck with those other residents as Kenny pines for that Reese cup after yelling Bingo first. Then of course there is always those small bottles of lotion with a smell so horrific it could stop the heart in the strongest of men. But at age 86, the fragrance is "oh soooo lovely".

How time flies, the clock is showing 3pm and Kenny is weary so she heads to the living room of The Brian Center for a little R&R. Somewhere along the way however she has been given 6 newspapers to deliver to the residents. Ohhhh, I feel almost certain this where the "job" comes in. But wait, it is now time to be rescued from her tedious day. I walk in to take her home but she can't leave because she hasn't delivered the papers and oddly she is too exhausted to do so. She whispers to me "I wish they would fire me" then she goes on to say "if you would deliver them we could get home much faster." Good point so off I dash then we head home.

What an amazing "job" and it is a dream come true for Kenny and for us caregivers as we all need a respite. Kenny included, as we aren't easy to live with either I am here to admit. Our biggest question now is "Can they really fire Kenny from her volunteer job?" Ohh the thought is too horrific to even ponder!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The 5 and Dime - RIPTOA Day

We have 3 R.I.P.T.O.A. Days in a month and you will see me using this word on the blog so let me explain it to you now. It is a military term that stands for Replacement In Position Turn Over Authority. Yesterday was RIPTOA day, Kay was released from her Tour of Duty and I am now on my Tour so I imagine you will be seeing more entries as I go through my 10 days here on the farm.

BTW, in case anyone cares or even reads my blog I want to give you the answer to the puzzler I asked in January. "Ayes" is the answer = a yes= a lot of yeses. You can go back to the post if you want to see the question.