We did everything that we could, but there came a time when we could no longer care for Aunt Grace.
For several months, we were able to provide around the clock care for Aunt Grace. Then one weekend we couldn’t find a caregiver. My dad and I weren’t able to take care of Grace that weekend. It might have been a wedding in the family, I don’t remember. It was another obligation that required a weekend away. The other two caregivers were not available either. My parents had no choice but to have Grace stay the weekend in a nursing home for respite care.
It was a Monday morning when my dad and I waited outside of her house for her return. The van driver got lost on Grace’s return ride home. He couldn’t find her home address on the map for anything. One of the difficulties of living in a very small town before good navigation.
We weren’t quite prepared for the condition that she was returning in. We almost told the driver to take her back when he left. They returned her in a wheelchair unable to walk. She could no longer hold her head up. Her head was tilted to one side. She could no longer speak right. Her words came out in a slurred moan. She couldn’t chew food. She choked on water.
My parents took Grace back to the doctor. He said that she was starting to have small strokes. We could no longer provide the care that she needed at home. We did the best that we could.