Paying It Forward


Just when I think this blog is over, something comes up that I feel I ought to include just in case.

Yesterday, I drove to the nursing home where Mom died and donated her shower chair, walker, and the wheelchair we bought to take her on walks on the Airline Trail. A lot of the patients who come to that facility don’t have insurance, and these items might be something they could use.

I was okay dragging it all up from the basement. I was okay putting it into the car. (That wheelchair was a bitch to get in and out.) I was okay unloading it at the nursing home, piling the chair and walker into the seat of the wheelchair and rolling everything up to the entrance. I was okay opening the front door.

But when I stepped inside, the walls came crashing down. She was everywhere. Not in a bad way, understand, but in a too-soon sort of way. I can’t really explain it except to say that I knew I’d be better off not to loiter, to drop things off and scoot. So I went to the PT Department, not even sparing a glance for the double doors which lead to the unit where my mother lived and died, and left them there. I stopped in briefly to visit with the Social Worker who’d been so helpful for all those months, but I couldn’t stay. Could, in fact, barely talk.

But I’m glad I went. Those things will help someone who comes next, maybe even someone who is suffering from the same debilitating disease as Mom. It seems like a good way to honor her memory.

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About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
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