The Queen of Assisted Living

I am happy to report that I was able to forego the pricier hotel room here in Springfield, Massachusetts, because the person who had reserved the guest room at my grandparents’ retirement housing complex bailed at the last minute.

The guest room is cheaper and actually far nicer than most hotel rooms, certainly better than the one I was going to have at the Clarion in West Springfield.  It also allows me to be just moments away from my grandmother, which sounds good to you because you haven’t made breakfast with her at 7:30 in the morning yet.

Although my grandparents live in the Independent Living building here, the guest suite is in the Assisted Living building.  Ooooh, yeah!  This room has the tremendous benefit of free breakfast and dinner in the dining room, which I have so far managed to avoid except for the fact that my grandmother couldn’t resist last night’s special:  liver and onions.  I kid you not.  Thankfully, I was able to order a burger off the regular menu.  I did also try to snag a cup of regular coffee yesterday morning because my grandmother’s brew of decaf motor oil was simply not cutting it. Can you say THROBBING HEADACHE at the hospital all day?   Let me just say right now:  do NOT drink the Assisted Living coffee, do you hear me? It makes the Kool-Aid taste reeeaaal good, Drama Mama.

But you know, I’ll miss this place when I leave on Wednesday.  Really, how could I be so lucky as to open my door on a delightful sunny morning and face this on my neighbor’s door?

I mean, goddammit, how could I not have a nice day after that greeting?  Isn’t it charming?  All those sweet little bees?  *Sigh*

Also, I don’t know about you, but I have never before enjoyed the luxury of elevators and automatic doors designed for wheelchair and walker users in my own home.  I mean it.  I could stub my toe on the way in, plop myself down in the doorway to take off my shoe and sock, inspect the toe, call a doctor, wait for the guy to swim over from England, let the amputation heal, and still have time to enjoy a grande skim honey latte no whip delivered by camel before that door would close on me.  Sweet!

Furthermore, where else do you say good-night to your friends at the end of dinner by smiling cheerfully and saying, “God willing, I’ll see you tomorrow!” Nowhere, that’s where.  I mean, really, what a lovely constant reminder of one’s mortality.


Okay, okay, I’ll report on the actual news soon.  It’s been a very rough few days but we’re all hanging in there  – that includes my grandfather, even though he’s pretty sure he’s in an electronics store, what with those TVs hanging on the wall, instead of a hospital, and can’t figure out what he’s doing there.   But, hey, let me have a few laughs tonight, will you?  I could really use them.




11 responses to “The Queen of Assisted Living

  1. Thinking of you, friend.

  2. You are a good person. Hang in there, kid. You’re building up MAD karma points for the next life. (Yeah, it’s a point system. What?)

  3. What a lovely (and funny) post in the midst of difficulty! I know we are only blog friends and all, but I’m sending some hugs your way. I hope your grandparents both do well during this transition and you will feel good about helping them. They so adore you, you know.

  4. Hold the phone. You skipped the liver and onions? Fool.
    I hope by the time you leave Wednesday morning, you will feel at peace with this journey and all you have done to ease the way for your grandparents. Thinking of you, always, and sending virtual hugs and lattes to your guest room door. Across the hall from the bees, right?

  5. Thanks, everyone. You know, I just have to say that although I was in the mood to poke fun last night, this particular retirement community is actually quite lovely. It’s in a pretty natural setting, the place is very tasteful, and the residents quite a delightful bunch. I could imagine living here if I ever needed to, honestly, although it’s true about the coffee, I couldn’t drink that every morning. Just didn’t want to make this particular place look bad.

  6. Having experienced both sets of grandparents living in independent and then assisted living intheir later years, I soooooo hear you about the coffee and some of the meal choices! LOL

    But, you are doing a wonderful and loving thing that you will never, never regret the timne you took to do. Ans even if they never speak the words, you KNOW your grandparents love and appreciate your being there for them.

    Sending you love, lattes, and peace. xo

  7. OK, Kristen and Niksmom said what I wish I had the words to! I am also thinking of you and sending hugs and lattes. And peace. And a safe return home.

  8. Thinking of you during this difficult time.

  9. My whole life has been a sequence of this kind of thing since I’ve not lived a day without having a relative in their 80s or 90s in an assisted-living facility or in the hospital. That’s the blessing (for me, having been able to know and love them) and the curse (for them, living out their lives in a new place, ill or with dementia) of being long-lived. Jordan, keep on keepin’ on. You do what ya gotta do and what ya oughta do, and you are in my thoughts. But please find some decent coffee, or you won’t make it.

    Regardless, Bee happy, right? 😉

  10. Aw, Jordan. You’re a good egg. A helluva person. A corona of stars awaits you in Heaven.

    Bad coffee and all.

    You and your family are in my thoughts.

  11. Thinking of you!

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