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Who Are These People?

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After spending two weeks in the hospital, The Ancient One decided that she’s never ever ever going back. Well, she’s eighty-seven—she should be able to make that choice. Of course, this puts The Midlife Gals, her daughters, in a funky position. What do we say if she declines in a hurry, “No, remember Mother? You decided you aren’t going to the hospital again … remember?” And us running around the house like chickens with our heads cut off trying to figure out what to do. Call HOSPICE, that’s what you do.

She’s all signed up now and these people do everything. They’ll even do your laundry! They probably won’t do your laundry if you don’t have a terminal patient in your home, or maybe they would if they ran out of other things to do like making sure that people in their care pass over into the ether in a gentle, kind, and caring way for both the patient and the family. Where do these people come from?

When the hospital put The Ancient One on a “heart-healthy diet,” she got pissed off without salt or butter or white bread or saturated fat. So, we gave her a Dr. Pepper and a bag of Fritos when she came home. We thought the hospice people might scold us for that. Instead, they’re all about, “Give the woman exactly what she wants. If she wants that stick of butter on her Eggos with syrup and bacon, give it to her.” Wow! Needless to say, she’s thrilled with the new program.

She still thinks she’s going to get better—even when we get right in her face and tell her that old people with congestive heart failure don’t get better—but that’s okay. We’ll just tell her that a friend of ours is coming over to help us make a medical video so she won’t get upset when the woman takes her blood pressure, temperature and wants to give her a bath. Hell, The Ancient One has been in one of our caregiving videos, so she’ll probably tell us that, “She’s ready for her close-up!”

All I can say is that I’m in love. I’m in love with people who want to do this kind of work. And, they smile when you hug them with gratitude and say, “It is our privilage.” Who are these people?


Yeah, the Hospice people are angels. I can’t imagine realizing one day as you go through your life that you are meant to take care of old people and people who are dying. That thought would never cross my mind in a million years. I wouldn’t even be able to do that with animals. I cry every time I go to the pound. Who are these people with hearts so strong they can deal with this stuff every day? I think they are aliens.

That must be it. These are beings of a higher spiritual intelligence who have decided to infiltrate the world disguised as nurses in scrubs and good-ole-girls with clipboards. They bring you all the accoutrements for an easy journey to the afterlife and have a firm belief that going there can be relaxing and happy. Sort of like being in a sad play but you are the star and everybody backstage gives you flowers.

Our assigned nurse said all you need in life is two good bras and a bible. Well, we have a Bible, but The Ancient One uses it as a backing for her daily, newspaper crossword puzzle. Also, mother’s bras don’t do the job any more and look like she has two water balloons hanging down from around her neck.

One of the alien/angel people just came and brought gadgets from their planet. There’s an oxygen tank, some sort of air machine and a mattress that blows up in different places all night so she is constantly moving around and not stuck in one position for too long. Now, come on, only aliens could think of this stuff.

We asked our alien/nurse what she does to de-stress. Don’t you think it’s interesting that she is a fire-dancer? Her planet must be a very hot place. Fire probably reminds her of the white light that covers her planet. I think it’s also interesting that they wear bras there.


Photo courtesy of The MidLife Gals


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