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David Lee Thompson

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The Nursing Home
by David Lee Thompson

Saturday, January 15, 2011
Rated "G" by the Author.
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           >> View all 42

Over the years, I've heard many say they would never put a loved one in a nursing home. I must admit that I once followed this line of thinking as well. However, none can say, with certainty, the exact pathway life will lead.


It began with forgetfulness.
Then Parkinson’s set in,
followed by complete loss of memory.
The doctor was to the point:
“You should consider a nursing home.
He may harm your mother.”

In time, arrangements were made.
On Sunday the family gathered
for a sad good-bye to our way of life.
We had our customary family feast,
accompanied by laughter and reminiscing.
I went off to myself and cried.

Monday followed,
the day he was to leave.
My two nephews were to take him.
I had to work,
but when I came home,
he was still there.

It was now in my hands.
I coaxed him to my car,
telling him we would be visiting a friend.
A college professor once asked,
"Is it ever okay to lie"?
This was one of those times.

We arrived at our destination,
went inside, and moved toward admissions.
He trembled, as though he knew.
I trembled because I knew.
A security alarm was pinned
on the back his shirt.
I left him there, and then I cried.

Six months passed.
He was treated well.
Someone from the family
visited him daily except the day it flooded.
The road was blocked.
My sister said,
"He’d a-found a way to get to us."

Suddenly, he fell and broke his hip.
An ambulance took him to the hospital.
He trembled because he was scared.
My son, a nurse, comforted him in the E.R.
That night he died, but I couldn’t cry.
My father was finally free.

©2011 By David Lee Thompson





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Reviewed by Z McClure 4/15/2011
Very moving poem David. I have many friends who are in a nursing home, and visit them as often as I can. This poem captures well, the struggle many go through.

Reviewed by Connie Faust 1/16/2011
The depth of your love and your heartache about your Dad glows within this poem-story. I know the pain you describe. May God bless and comfort you in your loss, which began when the forgetfulness appeared.
Reviewed by Diana Wiles 1/16/2011
David this was heartbreaking but written so tenderly and lovingly; it has brought many tears to my eyes this morning. It is the vulnerability and helplessness of our loved ones in situations like this that cut us to the core...I identify very strongly with your words...I consider this piece to be one of your best...
Love and Hugs..Diana...
Reviewed by Gene Williamson 1/15/2011
A sad and all too often an inevitable challenge that
confronts so many families, and you craft it lovingly.
Reviewed by The Poetess 1/15/2011
This is so sad and so beautiful at the same time. Sometimes Nuring Homes really are the best thing to do, although feel too, that they often are not. In this case it feels like you did the right thing.
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