Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: HOME (02/07/19)
- TITLE: A Temporary Place for Michael
By Sandra Fischer
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
“I know.” She patted his head. “It’s hard to let him go.” She swallowed hard.
She helped Michael into the car and fastened his belt. As she backed out of the driveway with him this one last time, she prayed. “Oh, Lord, may this be the right decision for him. For me.”
After they arrived at the group home, Miss Violet greeted them and ushered them to his room.
“Do you like your room?” Esther smoothed out the new comforter on his bed.
Michael nodded. He shuffled to the window, pushed back the curtain. He squinted and stared.
“No one’s there, Michael. Look, I brought you a miniature Shaggy to keep you company.”
He took the stuffed animal and laid it on the bed.
“Do you like the wall hanging? It has all your tee-shirts from your races. Remember this one, the Raleigh marathon?”
Michael touched the hanging and pointed to the shirt with the photo of his mother on it, the one he’d worn in the 5K race for cancer research.
“Is that your favorite?”
Michael struggled to form the answer and managed a “Yes”, one of the few words he could still speak.
“Getting settled, okay?” Miss Violet breezed into the room.
“I think so.” Esther looked at Michael, who simply stared.
Michael held his hand out to Miss Violet and she took it. He smiled and gave her a hug.
“You’ll like it here, Michael. We’re going to make you feel right at home. We’re a family and you’re part of it.”
Esther turned away and busied herself with rearranging the family pictures on the dresser. “Dear God, help him to understand why he’s here. Help us to accept this.”
Miss Violet took Michael’s hand. “Let’s go visit with the other residents.” Esther wiped her eyes and followed.
“Do you remember meeting Charles? He loves to play checkers.”
Charles eyed Michael. “Why doesn’t he talk?”
Esther intervened. “He can say a few words, but he mostly likes to shake hands and hug.”
Maggie pushed her walker up toward Michael. “Don’t mind Charles. He’s never happy. Nobody is who comes here at first, but we get along as best we can. Miss Violet and the others take good care of us. If you don’t want to talk, you don’t have to.”
Michael moved around her walker and put his arm around her.
Miss Violet moved him toward a woman in a wheel chair. “This is Shelby and Miss Mabel.”
Shelby’s eyes were fixed at something on the wall. She made a moaning sound and twisted her head. Miss Mabel, her daily companion, held out her hand.
“Miss Shelby says ‘hello, Michael, and welcome’’. She lifted Miss Shelby’s hand to wave.
“And this is Jerome. He likes watching the birds.” Miss Violet pointed to the feeder outside the deck window.
“Howdy,” Jerome offered a trembling hand. “Sorry for the shake, palsy’s got me.” Michael took Jerome’s hand, then pointed at the feeder. His lips formed a “B”, but only a puff of air came out.
“He likes the birds. He had feeders at ho. . .” Esther stopped mid-word.
“Birds are like people. They come, eat and fly away.” Jerome waved his shaky hand in the air.
“That’s what we’ll be doing, too—flying away. This is just a temporary place, you know. Our families brought us here from a place we called home, but our real home is heaven. It don’t matter what place you call home on earth.”
Michael pointed toward the ceiling and opened his mouth, but the word “heaven” came from Esther’s. “Yes”, she thought. “ You told me we’d be there together someday.”
He put his arm around her. She buried her face into his chest, blotting the tears on his shirt.
Later, after she had settled Michael in his room, Miss Violet walked her to the door.
“He’ll be fine here. Dementia and aphasia caregiving is what we do. Just go home and rest. First nights are harder on family than on the resident. We’ll talk in the morning.”
Esther turned the words over and over as she drove back to the house. “Just go home. . .home would never be the same for her, for Michael. And, rest? God promised rest. Someday.”
She gripped the steering wheel hard.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.