The Blue Room
Before I left for Billings, I called Carol and requested a reservation for The Blue Room. I think this was Terri’s room when she was in High School. Terri has lovely blue eyes and I am quite sure that was the impetus for the color initially. After Terri and Ned were married, it became a guest room and in 1992 it became Mom’s room. Mom had been in a small home that was licensed to care for up to 6 or so people. At first it seemed ideal. Both Mom and her sister, Aunt Bert, were in this small home. The atmosphere was homey and they would sit in the kitchen and do simple chores like shelling peas etc. Unfortunately, they became too successful and kept adding more and more people to the house and then more houses until it was like every other facility.
Eunice was so good about seeing to her needs, and she noticed that Mom wasn’t being cared for in the same way as she was at first. Her nails weren’t being cut, she wasn’t taken out to the living room and there was one poor overworked girl cooking, cleaning and caring for people who were bedfast. We feel that Mom had a stroke and there was no therapy or after care. Mom had an abscessed tooth that wasn’t taken care of until Eunice contacted our old dentist, Dr. Pressman, who came to the home and, after treating her with antibiotics for a few days, he pulled the tooth. Incidentally, he didn’t charge her (or Eunice) anything. He said that Mrs. Roth had been his patient all these years and he wouldn’t think of charging her.
Finally, one day Eunice came to the home and found that Mom had been moved to a small dark room. We called it the dying room because that was where they put people just before they died. When Eunice questioned them, they said that Mom wasn’t talking and they didn’t think it would matter to her. David, Eunice’s husband, was so upset, as was Eunice. They decided to take her home and put her in The Blue Room. Marlyn had a connection to the hospital that was switching out its old hospital beds and she obtained one. Eunice had refreshed and prepared the room with a TV, a radio, a chair and fresh curtains. Heidi’s husband, Mark, carried Mom up the stairs to the room. She looked around and said, “How delightful!”
For eleven months Eunice and David cared for Mom. She was kept immaculately clean. She was given as many choices as possible. She was kept free from bed sores. Eunice cooked her favorite foods and David got her pineapple milk shakes. The daughters and grandchildren and great grandchildren ran in and out and we look on that as a time of blessing. How often do we get to give back in kind to those who cared for us? It was a blessing to wash her and change her clothes and bedding. I heard about the time that two daughters were there and as one put on a clean gown, a daughter on the other side took it off and put on another clean gown.
Mom was 97 years and a little over three months old when she passed into the presence of her Lord and Savior. Lyla and Eunice had just bathed her and brushed her teeth and cleaned her up thoroughly. We used to tease Eunice and say that she scrubbed her to death. About ten minutes later, Eunice passed her door and didn’t hear her so she looked in and Mom had slipped away and only her body was there. I was in Singapore when she died and I wasn’t able to come back for the funeral, so I love sleeping in the Blue Room, where she died. I feel close to her and wish I could tell her how much I appreciate all she did in raising us. I am looking forward to seeing her in heaven.