Letter to the Editor: Perhaps the start of something great

To the Editor:

I read with interest the Huck letters to the editor in the (August 19) issue of The Standard. As I read the letter, I reflected on the issues that faced us with my wife’s 89-year-old mother, who was recently living in an assisted living facility.

She too was isolated both to her apartment, and our visits, too, were only through “the glass”. We really couldn’t visit her, other than sight as we could not hear her through the glass and we were not allowed to talk to her through a screen. While she had a phone in her apartment, it was not where she could talk on it and see us out the window at the same time. The times we visited her there we left in despair and knew that her despair was worse than ours.

I couldn’t help feel empathy for the part of one of the Huck letters that outlined that these “prisoners in these facilities” were an integral part of society in their youth and may have helped greatly in building our society, only now to be relegated to little more than a prisoner to live out their life for the most part in solitary confinement.  And yes, Genesis said it is not good for people to be alone. That is not how God made us.

But here we are in the 21st century, being controlled by those who think they know what is best for society and telling us what we have to do to survive.  I’m not going to go into all the political implications of this “pandemic,” but there is no question that the imposed restrictions/regulations that we are told we have to follow have taken many tolls on all of us in one form or another.

So we had a hard decision to make with my wife’s mother… to leave her in assisted living with all the imposed restrictions, not knowing when they would end, if ever, or to move her to a nursing home due to her declining mental health. After my wife called and talked to a nursing home and found that the restrictions would be worse than where she was at, we decided we needed to do something different.

After much discussion between the two of us (me, her husband) and my wife’s brothers and sisters, we made the decision to move her mother to our home, to live with us. While we are retired and have the time, we knew that it would restrict what we do, but we also realized that her mother made many sacrifices for my wife when she was growing up and it was only right that we did the same for her mother.

Her mother made many sacrifices for her seven children as they grew up. Many long days of not only working on the farm with her husband, but tending to all of her children as they grew.  So now it is our time.

So, on August 14, we picked up my wife’s mother and brought her here to live in our home. We realize it may take extra help as she ages and we age (we are not spring chickens), but we will deal with it a day at a time. Fortunately, my wife spent a great deal of her life as a nurse and that will certainly help.

Some other thoughts on this… We recently became acquainted with a young Amish couple who has been helping us out with work around our place. We have worked with them for over a year and have learned much about their culture.  We learned that their life is not as easy as ours and it is expected that when their parents age and cannot care for themselves, that they take care of their parents who cared for them when they were growing up.

Had we not come to know them and had talked to them extensively, we may not have been so inclined to take my wife’s mother in. But after knowing them and seeing what has transpired with this “virus”, we knew we had to do this.

While it has been only a week or so that we’ve had her mother here, we know that many trials will ensue as our days with her pass.  But in that short week, being able to be around her daily and get her out with our animals and livestock you can see the life come back into her. Her smiles at the dinner table and our ability to sit and have dinner with her have been worth the challenge and we have no regrets.

In retrospect, my wife and I have stated that the good that will come from this “virus” is that hopefully it will bring people back to doing what we need to do.  Had this “virus” not happened with all of its ridiculous restrictions, we most likely would not have her mother living with us and maybe it will bring us back to caring more for our elderly parents, regardless of how it restricts our lifestyle.

In closing, America cannot become great again, until America becomes Holy again. Maybe this is a start of something great?

Gary Shawver
Wadena

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