Ron’s Time Tunnel: The Loveseat Pt II

 

CARSeat

Note:  All posts in the Ron’s Time Tunnel series were written by Ron Brown.

This is a continuation of The Loveseat Pt I.  If you haven’t already, you can read that post here.

“Yep, I’m 92”, she replied. “I’m not going to be in this place long. My son is coming to get me soon. They just put me here because I got a little weak and I live alone with no-one to help me, so they put me here until I could get stronger. I’m strong now!” she exclaimed, letting go of the purse long enough to flex a thin arm. “I see that”, I replied truthfully, for indeed, considering her age, she appeared to be the picture of health and strength. She stressed to me that she didn’t really think she needed to be there in the first place but, her family disagreed, but now she was ready to get back to her own house. She told me where she lived—the facility was in Eufaula, Alabama—her home was within walking distance of the “Healthcare and Rehab.” I thought about my own grandmother, who’d also lived in Eufaula, not far from the “Health and Rehab,” but her children had taken care of her at home until she died. She even looked a little like my grandmother had looked, in her latter years.

She wore one of those “turbans” that I’ve seen a lot of older women wear. Hers had once been white, but now it was an “off-white” color. She was bundled in several layers of sweaters and shirts, as some older people are wont to do. It seems that the ambient temperature registers a little lower in the thermostatic system of the elderly hypothalamus than it does in that of younger people. She also wore those knit pants with the elastic waistband and a pair of white “flats.” In the world of the aged, she was as “sharp as a rat-turd.”  She was ready to bolt/shuffle out that door as soon as someone opened it for her. I wondered if anyone was coming for her, ever.

She spoke again saying, “I used to have a car but I had to get rid of that thing; it was too fast. Have you ever heard of a ‘2000z’?” “No Ma’am,” I’d replied, but while those words were exiting my mouth, my mind was racing; “2000z, 2000z, could she be talking about a Chrysler 200 or 300? Maybe she had a Nissan 300z, 380z or maybe a Datsun 2000? I think Datsun made a 2000 before they became Nissan. Maybe that’s it. She knows what she’s talking about.” Those were some of the thoughts swirling around in my head as she spoke.

“You know, that car is fast and you can’t put no less than $5.00 worth of gas in it. Nooo!” she declared, as if she’d anticipated my skepticism. She continued, “Yes! I didn’t believe it at first, so I let the gas get real low on it, and I went to the gas station and put $5.00 in it, and it wouldn’t do nothing! Oh really? I asked her. “Yes!” she answered. “But when I put $10.00 in that car, it took off!” I could just see it in my mind; a little old lady, spinning her tires as she suddenly sped away like a bat out of Hades, in her little red sports car; silky, grey hair blowing in the wind.

After that amazing story, she reached into her purse while explaining to me that she had “lots of money.” She loosened her death grip on that purse and pulled out a couple of ones, a couple of fives, and a fist full of old receipts. I guess this was her “treasure.” I said, “Wow, you really do, but you’d better not pull it out in front of people, someone might try to steal it.” She agreed, thanked me and put her money back into her purse, reattaching it to her chest and securing it with that white-knuckled death lock again. I told her I had to go, and bade her goodbye. She returned my salutation; sitting on the “love seat,” peacefully and patiently waiting, as I walked thoughtfully away.

In contrast, as I walked down one hallway, I met another elderly lady whose grey hair sat wildly upon her head. She paced frantically in front of one of the emergency exits. Peace, for her, seemed a million miles away. She stopped me and asked me if I could show her how to get out of the facility. She stated that her children had placed her in the “Healthcare and Rehab” in order to get at her money, “I know what they’re trying to do!” she exclaimed desperately. “There’s nothing wrong with me. They just want my money,” she continued, all the while pacing, pacing, pacing.

I later learned that she’d escaped the nursing home once or twice already, and had to be “hunted down.” I felt so much pain for her. It was clear that she was mentally disturbed. She was probably suffering from Alzheimer’s or, “Organic Brain Syndrome”—senility—in which case, there would probably be no peace for her, ever, or at least not while she still drew breath.

Both ladies wanted out, but one was at peace and the other, was not.

Join us next week when RON’S TIME TUNNEL WILL PRESENT: WHAT TIME IS IT?

16 thoughts on “Ron’s Time Tunnel: The Loveseat Pt II

  1. Awesome writing and very touching storyline that highlights another of society’s ills – the conveniently warehousing of the elderly. I’m not suggesting nursing facilities aren’t necessary but I’m seeing too many circumstances where some elderly wind up there simply because someone (usually a relative) wants them out of sight and out of mind.

    Great job with this Ron – there are a lot of folks out here that need a reality check regarding the elderly and you very classily give them one with this topic.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hello Ron- Great writing, I really enjoyed reading Part 1 and 2. I haven’t tried my hand at short story writing, I might be tempted to try after reading yours. Since I write more poetry I like to read between the lines and that’s what I’ve done here. So my first impressions, give indication of a warmth, caring and respect which I feel we have lost in many parts of the society I come from.

    I also lost my mother to a stroke over five years ago and funny thing is, I had just been talking about her with my younger brother because I had a fleeting dream about her last weak. In our African culture there is a lot of store placed in taking care of one’s ancestors (they are seen as guardian angels after they’ve passed) In some of our ethnic cultures, there are many rituals performed for the dead for one’s own good fortune. But I think many pay more attention to the dead than the older people while they are alive. Your writing has made me reflect on my own experience with older folk in my family. I won’t go into details except to say that there is definitely room for improvement.

    But the other point I wanted to raise is that given that we are probably in similar generational groups, we need to reflect on what aging means for us. I’m not so sure that our generation of children have near the honor and respect for old people that comes through in your voice.

    Then my last point is just to reflect on an example that we had with our late president Mandela who re-married at the age of 80 and had at least 10 years of a wonderful new love affair at that age – my point being that retirement or old age does not equal death. The older I get, the more I think I have to offer but if we flip it we don’t see that perspective from where we sit. I’m really happy I stopped by and helped myself to some food for thought. Well done! Chevvy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, thanks Chevvy. There’s much room for improvement in our society. As I said before, much has to do with money. But also, I agree with your point about the younger generation`s attitude about the elderly.

      As for your point about the quality of our lives as well enter, what should be our “golden years”; I’m often amazed at how vast a difference in mental acuity and physical ability can exist between individuals of the same age, for instance; I’ve seen an 82 year old who could barely move on their own and another 82 year old “swing dancing” with 20 year olds.

      Only God knows where on that spectrum we as individuals will land.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. From what I’ve observed, I think a lot has to do with attitude in terms of how people fare when they are older. I look at our politicians, artists, academics – it seems to me that if they have drive,purpose etc, it gives them an adrenalin rush to keep going. But hey it is Friday night here – on a more optimistic note, I want to believe that we’ll all be rocking old timers:-)

        Liked by 2 people

    2. You’ve given us a lot to think about Chevvy. Ron and I talk quite a bit about the changes in our African American culture that aren’t for the better. You speak of the fact that the elders are revered in Africa. Well we used to have that same reverence but nowadays not so much. I have known a number of people from West and East Africa and they often bring their elders home. In fact one Nigerian man told me that the oldest son is his parents “Social Security” so it is expected that he will care for his parents.
      As you and Ron alluded, we better start thinking about how our own senior years will look.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lady G, this has been a great exchange. I think society has changed radically the world over with urbanisation and generational changes. I’ve worked with people from other parts of Africa who get attracted to quality of life and Western values and never go back. Most of us expect that if our children are well educated they’ll seek greener pastures abroad and we’ll have to communicate by Skype 🙂
        There is a certain inevitability we have to live with and plan for. But for now, I’m enjoying listening to the Fugees killing me softly in the background. Let’s chill for the weekend! Have a good one:-)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is inspiring in a way- yet heartbreaking.

    I say this because, our dearest loveseat companion is so spy and so aware. I agree with you in that she does sound very much like our own grandmother. The heartbreaking part is the fact that her family is probably not coming back to get her; even though she holds out hope that they will.

    Our other dear nursing home resident touches my heart as well. Clearly, she needs more assistance than that facility is able to provide. But that is how it is.

    All of this reminds me of an article that spoke of nursing facilities that are legally dismissing patients who are considered trouble makers or are high utilizers of services. That’s a euphemism for “They cost too much to care for.”

    Here is the link:

    http://www.kansascity.com/latest-news/article76444657.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very informative and relevant article Gwin. I’ve seen first-hand how difficult some of these patients can be but what is the alternative? Some families take care of their loved ones at home, but not all can do that.

      In the end though it’s a business. It’s all about money in many areas of healthcare.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know right? What is the alternative? You are right. Everybody can’t take care of elderly parents at home. But what happens if or when they are kicked out of a nursing home?

        Where do they go if no other facility will take them?

        Hopefully we can get some input from others on viable options. As for me, I’m stumped!

        Liked by 1 person

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