This past week, mom had an unfortunate altercation with an aide, who ended up getting “let go”, as a result. First off, I want to say how diligent the Care Center staff was in taking care of this situation as well as they did. Over all, Presbyterian Homes is a great care center, who has taken very good care of my mother.
Unfortunately, in all nursing homes, it is relatively common to occasionaly get an aide, or nurse, who perhaps should not be in that profession. As with any very emotionally and physically demanding job, there can be those who can become impatient, jaded, cynical, worn out, and even angry.
I won’t go into any details, but let’s just say, very inappropriate words and actions were directed towards my mom, which caused this aide to lose her job. My mom’s story of what occurred is different from some of this woman’s story, but overall, enough was the same for staff to recognize the damage done (both visible and invisible).
This got me thinking about how difficult it is at times to have a vulnerable sick parent, who is at the mercy of those who care for her 24 hours a day. It is so critical and important to establish relationships with the staff, and to make that personal connection with them, which partly helps to ensure that better care will be given. But, realistically, not all residents are as fortunate to have family who is consistently able to be present and to be able to be an active advocate for their loved one’s care. Many have family who live far away, or who are just to busy to be there for them on a consistent basis.
It is times such as these, that I am very grateful for my Catholic faith, which has instilled in me a very deep compassion and calling to recognize and honor life at all stages, especially the vulnerable, and for those who have no clear voice of their own.
The Catholic Church is, first and foremost, about upholding the sacredness of ALL life. This can be very difficult and inconvenient for all of us at times, but it isn’t negotiable, if we are to live an authentic and active Catholic faith life. It includes protecting the lives and being a positive advocate for the vulnerable frail elderly, the single mom, the innocent unborn child, the disabled or mentally challenged; all of whom need others to stand up for them, to be their voice, and to help them have the dignity and respect that they deserve as a human being, who was created in the image and likeness of God.
Tomorrow, all of us will vote our conscience, depending on how our conscience was formed. The beauty of this country is that we all get to have a voice and a say in who we want to be our voices for goodness, truth, and, life. As a Catholic American, I am grateful for a faith that helps me to recognize the beauty of ALL LIFE, and the potential for all humans to live out their truth. And to see that whatever a person’s truth may be, it will always start with the fundamental right to have a life in the first place. Afterall, without the right to life, we can have no other rights.
Today, tomorrow, and everyday, I am grateful to be a voice for the voiceless!