This was going to be a longer journey that we had planned for. How long? Only God could know. I definitely needed to rest and remain strong as I continued to learn the ins and outs of what all this meant. I began writing down the new routines and the staff names. There were new procedures, new schedules and expectations from the CNA’s, the nurses and doctors. The administrator came to meet us and I thanked him for their understanding the night before.
David’s corner had a wide and tall window, which made me very happy. He would be able to see the world outside. His roommates were: Domingo, a 92 yr old man who had no family and had been living there for quite a while. Next was Don Carlos, a man in his 50’s who had fallen from a roof and hit his head on concrete, suffered a brain and spinal cord injury and remained at the facility for long-term care and therapy. Right in front was Stucky, a young man in his early 30’s whose left leg had been amputated and had been living at the facility for almost 2 years.
I observed how the staff brought breakfast, lunch and dinner to the roommates, did their hygiene and treated them. David had a feeding tube that had been turned on and he was being turned sideways every two hours to protect him from bed sores. David kept looking at me every time someone would come in or attended to his care and I would just smile.
All of a sudden I became aware of the time. I had been so immersed in that day’s schedule I had totally forgotten it was almost time to say good night to David and leave. I wasn’t going to cry in front of him – I wanted to show myself strong and optimistic to encourage him to do the same. I played a spiritual instrumental music on a CD player until he fell asleep. Ana Carolina came to pick me up around 10:00pm. After 2 months next to David day and night, leaving him was so hard to do. I had to trust that David would be OK.
From Aunt Flor’s house it took me around 15 minutes to get to the nursing home. As soon as I arrived, I rolled open the curtains and ran to give David a kiss. I had made it through the night without him. I knew it would get easier with time. I open the window blinds to let the sunshine in.
The first facility we visited was part of the Jackson Memorial Hospital System, which meant that the transfer would possibly be smoother. The place was bright, big, the rooms where spacious and the facility was newer. There was a garden and a big therapy room. David’s name happened to be on the administrator’s list indicating that he had been scheduled to arrive at their facility, which brought tears of joy to my face. After a few phone calls, he proceeded to inform us that the health insurance would not allow for the transfer.
We then visited a nursing home in Coral Gables whose administrator explained our options and assured us that David would be well taken care of. The facility was impressively bright with wide screen TV’s, cable in every room, a well furnished dining room and lobby for the guests. I felt relieved. All we had to do was to sign paperwork and they would take care of the rest.
Eddy and I remained silent on our way back to the nursing home where David was. We sat in the car at the parking lot. There was a decision to be made. We prayed together. Then I asked Eddy, “What do you think?” He responded, “Mom, Jesus was born in a manger”. All of a sudden I felt this overwhelming peace which invaded my heart and I knew the answer. God could not speak any louder – we were at the right place. The decision was made… we stay!
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
(Romans 8:31; Philippians 2:3; James 4:6,10)