Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Angry and Heartbroken...

Well, I'm having some feelings about Dad's AFH.  For the most part, I find it to be an excellent, family-run organization with people who really care about Dad's health and welfare.  In the last few weeks, however, I've been really angry at some things that are, admittedly, probably fairly unimportant, but which seem important to me.

A few years ago, I brought over one of my hand-made quilts for Dad, because I wanted him to have something I'd made to brighten up his room, even though I knew he wouldn't really notice it.  I didn't make the quilt specifically for him, but I did make it - in fact, it was the first full quilt I ever made - and it made me feel really good to have it in his room.  I put it on his bed, but then noticed the next time I visited that it was folded on a chair.  I figured they were worried about getting it messy by using it too much so I left it on the chair and didn't bother them.  The next time I came I couldn't see it and had to search through his closet for it.  Although I usually try not to interfere with what I know has to be a tough job caring for Dad, I explained that I at least wanted to see it out in his room, so we put it back on the chair. 

A week ago, Paul and I stopped by and the quilt wasn't there, nor could I find it anywhere in his room.  When I got home, I called the owner and asked where it was and he promised to look for it.  He also told me they were planning their yearly summer BBQ and asked what weekends worked for me.  I really want to attend these events and I wasn't able to go last summer, so I told him I absolutely couldn't do June, but was available anytime in July.  The next thing I knew, I received a call from him last Wednesday, embarrassed and uncomfortable, telling me they just couldn't find the quilt at all!  He was still making some inquiries but had no idea where it had gone.  This quilt has been sitting on the chair for a year and a half, and then it somehow vanished.  I was devastated. 

 Then, to add insult to injury, he informed me that the BBQ had been planned for Saturday the 29th - in three days, to be exact.  I was speechless.  I told him that I had made it very clear how much I wanted to go and that I wasn't available in June and that now I was very, very disappointed.  Again, clearly uncomfortable, he hemmed and hawed, saying that because of visitors they were having, other plans, etc., etc., they had decided to have it that Saturday - one week after telling me they were just starting to plan it!  I just felt betrayed, and so disappointed, and angry that they had lost my quilt.

What do you do?  Obviously, we are paying a lot of money to keep Dad there, and I would expect that they would try to figure in our needs and wishes with their plans.  I would also expect that they would take care of Dad's belongings.  I also realize that they have a tough, physically demanding, often tedious job; that they have other residents and families to think about; and that they have to consider their own needs.  The thing is - I just feel betrayed that they couldn't do better for us, and the worst part is - I would make him another quilt, but my arthritis has gotten to the point where its really uncomfortable to quilt anymore.

From the people I counsel and the stories I hear, I know that these issues figure as very, very minute against the problems other people are having with their loved ones - whether it is poor facilities, uncaring caregivers, or the tough job of homecare.  One missed BBQ and a missing quilt.  But to me, this is really hard, and I feel angry and sad.  It means a lot to me to spend a little time with Dad and also to know that when I'm not there, that something of me is; in this case, a quilt I made and placed carefully in my father's room.


  1. I'm so sorry. That would make me mad too...a quilt is a labor of love and it's maddening that something so precious would disappear. And really? Your request for a July BBQ was completely overlooked? I'm upset on your behalf. Sorry.

  2. Thanks Emily - that's so good of you!