“Your Mother Almost Killed Me, Her Best Friend!”
Why do we do the things we do? Have you ever taken the time to figure out what is behind your actions? What is causing you to do the things you are doing?
Maybe you’ve had a little more time to contemplate your actions since the pandemic. I know I have. Several of the programs I’ve taken have asked me to dig deep to find my WHY! Why I do, or don’t do, certain things.
Many of you know I started delivering dahlias to a memory care facility in town a few months ago. I’ve been posting on Facebook various photos of the dozens of dahlias I deliver each week to them.
The reason “why” I’m doing this started with a phone call back in 1984…
“Your Mother Almost Killed Me, Her Best Friend!” Eleanor said in a raging voice! Eleanor was my mother’s best friend.
That call was the beginning of major change, a turning point in my life – in all our lives!
My mother had moved from Southern California to be close to her grandchildren in Northern California. She lived about a mile away from us, an easy walk for my kids to spend time – lots of time – with their grandma.
There had been a recent change in her behavior. My mother was having trouble balancing her checkbook. That was back in the days when we didn’t have computers, just calculators. This situation was unusual, but I didn’t give it much thought.
Eleanor had flown from Los Angeles to San Jose to visit. They both were looking forward to seeing each other. They had been best friends since they met in grammar school, nearly 60 years earlier.
It was late afternoon when I got this disturbing call.
“Linda, you can’t let your mother drive anymore!!! You have to take the keys away from her! She ran several RED LIGHTS! She didn’t stop at any “STOP” signs or signals! A car just missed hitting us! We were almost killed! She could have killed someone – anyone – a child!
It took this drastic event for me to grasp something more was happening to my mom – something more than not being able to balance a checkbook.
My mother was suffering from a rare disease known as Jakob-Creutzfeldt Disease, at least that is what it was called back in 1984. (It is now called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease). It is a rapidly progressive disease that causes dementia, muscular weakness, and ultimately death, which in her case was less than 18 months from the first signs until her agonizing death.
I was ill-equipped to handle this situation. Only a month earlier I had major emergency surgery and lost an enormous amount of blood. The doctors were not able to continue a blood transfusion due to a severe allergic reaction I had when they first started. I almost died. I was weak, foggy-headed, and barely able to walk around my own house much less care for my mom.
Finding a “home” for her was an exhausting, difficult process. There were numerous “nursing home scandals” happening in our area at the time. I visited all within a 25-mile radius of our home and they were horrific!
Ultimately, I chose a nursing home that cared for patients with dementia. Alzheimer’s was not being addressed yet. Boy, have we come a long way – thank goodness!
What I discovered in that process was actually Feng Shui principles although I had never heard of Feng Shui at the time. It took years for me to learn and understand Feng Shui, which is how the built environment affects every aspect of our life.
A key take-away when visiting and interviewing the various nursing homes was how they felt. How they made me feel. How it made the staff feel.
The one I chose was one that felt “like home.” It had children close by it (a preschool next door) with the sound of children laughing and playing; there were a few cats and small dogs on the premises; and flowers. Lots of flowers! Some growing in a garden, some cut flowers throughout the facility, and even flower wallpaper.
This story is my WHY to many things I do in life!
WHY I want to spend time with family.
WHY I want to create spaces with good energy.
WHY I love to play in my garden.
WHY I love to grow flowers and share them.
WHY I know what to look for in a care facility – any health care facility, especially memory care.
WHY I know that flowers mean the world to those with dementia.
WHY I know that flowers mean the world to those who work in a memory care facilities.
WHY flowers bring JOY to those who give, receive, and see flowers!
They even bring tears of joy to those who see me deliver the flowers each week. This includes the smile and, “No problem!” comment I received from the male FedEx driver whose truck I momentarily blocked while delivering last week’s 7-dozen blooms!
Why are you doing the things you are doing? What is your deepest WHY in life?