- Aging & Longevity
My Little Girl, My Little Lady
I stare at her, so sweet, so precious, all curled up on her single bed, blankets up to her chin. As I listen to her snore to the rise and fall of every breath, I close my eyes and reminisce in silence.
My little girl – oh, how I love her. I will miss the day when I won’t have to meticulously cut her food so tiny to prevent her from choking. I usually have a clean washcloth nearby just in case she drools or spits up. Every once in a while when she wets the bed, I calmly look through the cluttered linen closet to find the prettiest sheets and pillowcase. I’ll usually replace the soiled mattress cover too. The diapers she wears sometimes fall off so I use extra transparent tape to hold them in place.
When we take a stroll through the gardens at the back of the property, she begins to sing as if life couldn’t be better. When an unknown reason causes tears to rush down her profound cheeks, I quickly catch them. When she wants to rock in my favorite chair, I simply take the couch.
Terrible things that happen out in this world frighten her and cause nightmares. So, I search for simple shows for her to watch on television. No news broadcasts. She likes to listen to Wheel of Fortune, the Game Show Network, ice skating or even the Weather Channel. Sometimes, she simply plays her old little transistor radio.
There are times that I run up to her and give a big hug out of the blue for no specific reason. She’ll look up at me in wonder, her eye brows raised. And I quietly whisper “love you.”
During my few moments each day that I find time to relax, I browse through magazines, pamphlets and books to keep up on the latest trends in hopes of making her quality of life the best possible. I converse with friends, neighbors, doctors, and even strangers in the grocery lines so that I can continue to learn and seek new ideas.
I love brushing her hair, so shiny and strong. I gently push it back away from her hazel eyes and tell her how special she is to me. She likes when I rub a little rouge on her cheek bones. It makes her feel pretty. My little lady is so beautiful with a loving heart the size of few.
A rush of excitement comes over me about serving her favorite breakfast as I sit and patiently wait for her to awake. I do the “mom thing” and gently place the palm of my hand on her back to make sure she is breathing. She is -- still sound asleep.
I sit back and continue to think about how important it is to me that my little girl, my little lady feels safe. I always hold her hand when we are near steps. At home, I even put up the baby gate so she doesn’t get hurt. I read to her out loud because the sound of my voice calms her. I put my arms around her and let her know that everything will be just fine.
We've had so many special moments together. When there’s a squirrel or a rabbit in the yard, I make sure she sees them. The bird feeders outside her bedroom window provide hours of enjoyment. On a night of a full moon, I take her to the south windows in the corner of our kitchen. I shut all the lights off and let the moon illuminate the room. When we travel to the shopping mall, we first stop at the penny fountains and hope our wishes come true. And we’ve had a lot of fun planting seeds in little pots so we can watch them grow on our window seat. Oh, the look on her face, her unconditional smile, when they begin to sprout.
Whenever my patience with her begins to run thin, I take a deep breath, think about my love for her, and remember that she used to do all these things (and more) for me. And then gratitude has a way of quickly filling my heart again.
Finally, her eyes slowly open as she looks over at me as if she knew I was there the whole time. I smile with excitement, “Good Morning Grandma, are you ready for your favorite breakfast?”
She nods her head and falls right back to sleep. The draft in her room sends a chill through the air. So I cover her up with a beautiful afghan that she crocheted especially for me many years ago . . . when I was her little girl.
An Introduction To Elder Care
Given the choice, most seniors would prefer to continue living in their own homes, also known as “aging in place“, remaining independent without intervention from others. This population is the fastest growing group in North America, and also at the highest risk for needing care. Medical science is preventing early sudden deaths, which means elders are living longer with impaired health and greater risk of needing long-term care. Unfortunately, many lose the ability to function on their own and require additional help in the home. http://www.eldercare.com/
ElderCarelink can help you find the right type of living arrangement for your loved one if in-home care is not appropriate. Their nationwide network includes:
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities
- Hospice Care Facilities
- Independent Living Communities
- Nursing Home Facilities
- Skilled Nursing Facilities (for recovering patients)