The same question that had hounded her for years continued to pummel Irene: At the end of my life, what will I have to show for it?
The answer, she decided, wasn’t in this place—a box-like room full of white sheets, a white blanket, a white commode and the sickly smell of urine, feces and vomit.
She dragged her legs to the edge of the bed, grabbed the rubber handles of her walker encrusted with the grime of three weeks in the nursing home, and made her way to the apple red crash cart parked down the hall where she copped a vial of potassium chloride, a 22 gauge needle, a syringe and tourniquet from the drawer that should have been locked.
After signing herself out against medical advice, she took a taxi home—her happy yellow home with the flower boxes on the window sill that had just come into bloom—the place where she had chosen to die.
Purty, her calico cat greeted her at the door, purring and winding herself about the ankles of the old lady who suddenly realized that the medicine stashed inside her purse wasn’t what she really wanted, not when she had something that needed her..
In my nursing experience, people need someone or something to get better for–or at least the process of rehabilitation goes much better when there is a loved one waiting at home. Even, perhaps especially, if that “someone” depends upon them.
VICTORIA C. SLOTTO (Victoria C. Slotto, Author: Fiction, Poetry and Writing Prompts) ~ is an accomplished writer and poet. Winter is Past, published by Lucky Bat Books in 2012, is Victoria’s first novel. A second novel is in process. On Amazon and hot-off-the-press nonfiction is Beating the Odds: Support for Persons with Early Stage Dementia. Victoria’s ebooks (poetry and nonfiction) are free to Amazon Prime Members. Link HERE for Victoria’s Amazon page.
Editorial note: Congratulations, Victoria, on that the long awaited publication of print copies of Jacaranda Rain, Collected Poems, 2012, Beautifully done.
Writers’ Fourth Wednesday is hosted by Victoria from January through October and will post from now on at 12:01 a.m. P.S.T., not at 7 p.m. P.S.T.