Anyway, I began by looking for a better "Home".
I began with the obvious, another visit to Mushmouth Manor, the place my mother pined for, though only she and God know why.
This time I called and made a set appointment. I also now knew exactly how to get there, thus I arrived at its doorstep over a half-hour early. I almost hate showing up early as much as showing up late, and I really hate showing up late. Showing up late is rude and inconsiderate. It inconveniences other people and it says to them, "My time is more important than your time." When I worked in the corporate world there were managers who came late to every meeting for that very reason, just to show they were somehow the more important person.
So I went a bit out of the way, stopped at a drugstore and bought a soda. I then went on to Mushmouth Manor where I parked in the back lot and drank the drink. Around five until the hour I ambled in and presented myself at the reception desk. The receptionist told me Ms Fingerrub would be right with me and please have a seat.
Mushmouth Manor had a large lobby, like a medium hotel, unlike Sunset City's modest entry with a table and one sofa. Mushmouth Manor had many sofas and chairs and tables and vases of flowers.
In the back, where the people were stored, it was not distinguishable from Sunset City at all. Long hallways lined with ancient citizens in wheelchairs or shuffling along with the aid of walkers. Every home was equipped with poor souls sitting still along some wall, hands folded in lap, back bent like a question mark and head down. It was as if you could order these people off Amazon.com for the singular purpose of decorating your nursing home hall.
I had downloaded two copies of Mushmouth's application and filled one out for each of my parents. After the tour I presented these, and was told there was a waiting list. My father might get in quicker than mom, but there was a wee bitty problem. Because of my mom's current condition she would qualify for Medicaid, but my father would not. He would have to come in as Private Pay (which would run around $9,000 a month), unless he might be eligible for veteran's benefits.
She gave me a business card. "This is our Veteran's expert. Call him and he will help you with your dad's benefits."
We bid good day (which was in reality goodbye) and I left with the same feeling I had the first time, Mushmouth Manor primary interest was dough-re-me. Some weeks later, an Elder Lawyer told me my parent's would not get into Mushmouth Manor with their bank account, confirming my initial gut reaction.
Many weeks and much aggravation later I was told a tale by a close friend of my parents, one of the coterie that had been looking after dad since mom was struck down. One whose husband was one of the most vocal about the indiscretions of Sunset City.
"I went through this with my father," she began. "He fell and broke his him and went into to Mushmouth Manor. Oh, what a terrible place. I came to visit and it was meal time. I don't know what was on his plate. It was a mess, pardon me, but it looked like dog dirt. I said, 'He can't eat that,' and the person told me, 'He can have a hot dog instead if he doesn't want that'.
"And while we were there I heard his roommate say something from the bathroom. He had been in the bathroom when we arrived. I asked, 'Do you need help?'
"'Yes, he said. I've been waiting in here for over an hour for someone to help me, but no one's come.'
"So, I got the man back to his bed and I went out to the nurse's station and told them, 'Have my dad packed and prepared to leave at 1:00 tomorrow. We're taking him out of here.'
"They said he needed a Doctor's permission and this and that. 'No,' I said, 'we're taking him out of here tomorrow.' I came the next day at 1:00 and he was prepared to go and we left."
I thought, why didn't you tell that story to my mother. Maybe she would have stopped yammering at me about the Great and Wonderful Mushmouth Manor. By the lady told me this story it didn't matter anymore.
In the time between my second visit to Mushmouth Manor and this lady's tale of woe, my mother had picked up a new mantra, PassingGo Homes.
It was mainly my own fault.
TO BE CONTINUED