On Sept. 26, 2011, against her doctor’s recommendation, my husband and I brought Millie Jordan, my then 89-year-old mother, to Brookings from her lifelong home in the Santa Cruz/San Francisco Bay area.
We drove all through the night in hopes mom would be more comfortable if she slept most of the trip. We were given training on how to feed mom every two hours through her feeding tube by the staff at her previous skilled nursing facility. The trip up was perfect and mom loved driving through the redwoods. Upon arrival to the Good Samaritan Skilled Nursing Facility we were met by a couple of the caring staff of what would be my darling mother’s final home.
We were assigned a room with roommate Rose. Over the months we came to love Rose. When members of our family or Rose’s would visit, we all felt that our moms were placed together in what seemed to be a divine intervention. I was blessed to spend time with these two angels and though neither could carry on a conversation their words always touched my heart, and each day I was privileged to enjoy their company.
The room was lovely with a view of town and the ocean. Mom was unable to appreciate the view as her eyes weren’t what they once were, but I enjoyed it in my visits. I tried to see mom daily; I found the time nurtured my soul and provided mom with so much joy. During those months we met and fell in love with many of the residents of the nursing home. Being allowed to bring Mia — our beagle/treeing walker coonhound — seemed as enjoyable to the residents as to Mia. Many would carry dog treats to share with Mia as did the staff whom Mia came to know as she would look down the halls and wait in anticipation.
During the final days leading up to mom’s death, I found the staff of Good Sam to be so caring and loving. The day before mother passed, the staff came into mom’s room and, with what can only be called the truest form of compassion, gave my mother and me comfort and love so natural and genuine. Most came into mom’s room that day and gave mom a little kiss, and with teary eyes left work to be with their own loved ones.
My heart is heavy as I write this, as at 5 a.m. on April 9, 2013, mom left us. I am certain she is reunited with family and friends — some of whom have long awaited my mother’s company and grace.
Lucy Sojka and family