My Aunt Eunice has resided in a nursing home since 1982 when her hip gave way due to osteoporosis at the age of 55. Like my grandmother, my aunt always walked with a limp. She was my dad’s younger sister and was dearly loved by her family, loved perhaps too much in that, having some developmental delays, she was protected at home and never ventured out for any kind of employment.
Only 14 years older than I, my aunt was fun to be with. My grandfather always kept her favorite snacks at the ready, such as Royal Crown Cola and ‘Brown Mules’ in the freezer. They bought her a piano and made sure she had lessons for years. (That piano never seemed in tune!) But since I didn’t have a piano, I gravitated to hers and taught myself to play hymns and other tunes when we visited. My aunt only made it in public school through the 4th grade, but she was my buddy growing up.
After the hip fracture in 1982, she never really walked again. She is now 88, and I am her guardian and long-distance caregiver. My mother did this for her as long as she was able.
Our grandfather provided well for my aunt, but when her money eventually ran out, she had to rely on Medicaid. As I may have told you previously, I visit her every few months. Our outing for the day includes going out for breakfast and then to a store like Wal Mart to shop for whatever she needs. Since she can’t walk, we enjoy breakfast in the car and she waits while I shop.
This arrangement has been good for a number of years. However since my husband’s health has become fragile over the past several months, I can’t leave him overnight like I used to.
Not wanting to neglect my aunt, I came up with an idea early today on a way to let her know she is still loved. Online I discovered there to be a grocery store within a mile of my aunt’s nursing home. And this grocery has a fax line!
So late this afternoon my Aunt Eunice was able to enjoy a Dr. Pepper and a slice of cheese from her stash of goodies delivered by the store.