For two years, my mother lived in a care home in the heart of downtown Victoria, British Columbia. There exists a Starbucks Coffee joint just one and a half blocks from that care home, and on many days, when the weather was good, we would take a trek to said coffee shop for treats and “froofy tea”, which was a chai tea in Mom language. Little did I know that this would be the good old days, but they were, with everyone at the Starbucks being very kind to my mother and me.
Part of our trek included crossing a 4-lane road that was very busy with traffic, and with Mom’s ability to walk quickly diminishing, sometimes, and eventually almost always, we would not quite make it across the last lane before the light turned green for the oncoming traffic. I would try to scurry Mom along, but there was no scurrying to be done, and so I would mouth the words “I’m sorry” to the drivers who had to wait. Some of the drivers affected seemed grumpy, but the majority did not, and smiles would cross their faces, apparently appreciating Mom’s and my situation. Every so often (surprisingly often, actually), a waiting driver would begin to enter a world of her or his own, with the facial expression telling me that this person understood, fully and completely, the importance of these outings for both my mother and me, and would smile in a faraway fashion to indicate he or she was thinking of someone close to them, either still with them or gone.
Yours in Caregiving,