Jan 12, 2005

Happy Birthday

My mom's roommate Bea is going to be turning 100 years old this Friday which incidentally is one day after my 35th birthday. Unfortunately, Bea was on the verge of passing away last night when I went up to visit my Mom at the nursing home.

We don't know exactly what happened or how she got sick, but her blood pressure dropped dramatically so a few of her daughters were called to be with her. It was as they say, 'Off and On' last night so my mom stayed out of the room as much as possible to give the family privacy with their mother.

But eventually my mom had to sleep so I walked with her back to the room to get her settled in for the night. Sitting in a chair besides Bea's bed was a nurse's aide who presumably was keeping watch over the I.V. and blood pressure cuff to make sure Bea's vital signs remained stable. My mom went into the bathroom to wash up for the night and I stayed on my mom's side of the room waiting for her to finish up so I could say good-night.

As I was standing there, I heard mumbling like someone was talking to themselves. I looked over to Bea's bed and realized the mumbling was coming from the nurse's aide. Apparently she was having a conversation on her cell phone! And then the giggling and laughing started. I simply stared at her in disbelief. Poor Bea was potentially lying on her death bed three days before her 100th Birthday and this disrespectful person was carrying on a rather lively conversation in her presence.

Now I know Bea probably didn't know what in the world was going on, but still...so as I walked to my car last night and started up the car to head home all I kept thinking about is how this woman is nearly 100 years old and potentially her life is going to end in the presence of this aide rather than being surrounded by her family. How utterly sad.

I think to myself: Will that be me someday? Will I get the blessing of living a long life only to pass away being surrounded by some minimum-wage disrespectful worker who is only sitting next to me because it's part of her job?

I don't know if Bea survived the night, but I hope that she lives to enjoy the rightful celebration of her years this Friday surrounded by people who care about her.

Happy Birthday Miss Bea!