Having worked on the OB floor of the hospital and in a nursing home, I have come to realize how tender those two stages of life are: that of entering this life, and that of departing. You come to realize that although 80 + years of life might separate the two, they really aren't very distant from each other. The other day, as I fed my little Lauren her lunch, I was reminded of my days of working as a CNA at a nursing home on the Alzheimer's wing, feeding the elderly. I began thinking of all the similarities between babies and some of the very sweet but very forgetful elderly patients I took care of. Here are some of the ones I came up with:
-They wear diapers.
-They usually don't have teeth (and if they do, they usually don't know where to find them or what to do with them.
-They make a mess when they eat and like to play with their food.
-They wear bibs when they eat.
-You have to spoon-feed them.
-They can be slobbery.
-They cry a lot.
-They don't like being bathed.
-They're wobbly when they walk.
-They have a hard time expressing themselves and mix up their words.
-They are quick to get frustrated but are even quicker to forgive and forget.
-They love to laugh and give kisses.
-They are easily amused.
-They often babble in non-sensical words.
-Sometimes you have to rub their backs and hum to them to get them to fall asleep.
-They are scared of the dark and people that look like doctors.
-At the end of the day, all they want is their mommas.
I find this last similarity the most touching. No matter how old, or how many life experiences, the tender feelings they have in their hearts for their mothers are just as vivid as ever, if not more so at the end of life. When the elderly residents with Alzheimers would wake up afraid at night, they would often call for "Mother."
Here's a video I made for my mom's 60th birthday this year. Happy Mother's Day, Mom, I love you!!