Dorothy was so eager to get home! All she could think about in Oz was getting home to Kansas. While she appreciated the friends and support she found in Oz, her heart was set only on going home.
“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home!”
What if the Ruby Slippers hadn’t worked?
There are no Ruby Slippers for my father. My father is stuck in Oz! He wants desperately to get home. But his Kansas is not an option. It is cost-prohibitive to have someone care for him full time in his home, and he requires 24/7 care. Family is not an option either, as his mental conditions include anger and abusiveness. He suffers from dementia and from cognitive disorders caused by microvascular damage to hundreds of blood vessels in his brain, caused by multiple mini-strokes. All he knows is that he wants to go home. Yesterday!
He is instead in a lovely Veterans Home, a spacious facility with his own room, delicious foods, caring staff, and fun activities.
There is a garden there, with flowers and vegetables. On the patio of his wing there is a lovely planter box waiting for its first plants.
“Let’s plant some chrysanthemums!” I suggest.
“No, I want to plant things at home,” Dad replies. He misses his 3/4 acre with its many nut and fruit trees, ample space for garden and flowers. He wants to tinker on his own property, his own yard and house.
The Veterans Home staff let us know that he needs to have hope of going home, even if it is not a viable option. His mind does not reason logically. He needs hope of getting home, home to his Kansas. So they let him know what he needs to do to go home. He needs to be able to get into his bathtub by himself. He needs to be able to take medications on his own. Dad is content to work on improving these skills, with the goal of getting home. He is happy and patient with his progress, and participates in activities.
It reminds me of my Aunt Grace. She lived in a nearby care facility. Every day that I visited her, she was so excited: she was going home! Her son was picking her up that very afternoon! She was packed and ready to go! And so it went for her, day after day after day. Hope kept her happy and cheerful. She was going home! And finally, she was allowed to go Home. Home to her beloved husband, who departed this life decades ago. Home to her other loved ones on the far side of the veil. Home to health and a perfect mind. Home to the true Kansas.
I have also wanted to go home to my Kansas. When I found out that my first husband, father of our three children, had been living a double life and not the person he pretended to me to be, I wished I could go back! But there was no Kansas for me to go back to. I was also stuck in Oz, in a land not of my choosing, three children with me. When I remarried, the situation for me was much harder, and I wanted still to get back to Kansas! But Kansas was in the past, and I couldn’t get back there, no matter how I tried.
So after raising the three children plus one from the second marriage, I left and began my own new adventures. I no longer want to return to Kansas. That is only a dream of what might have been, a fantasy of lost opportunities and hopes. Instead, I have my own corner in Oz. I’m finding new friends, new dreams, new opportunities. I’m at home in Oz.
Hopefully my father can come to terms with living in Oz, since this will be his home now. He can’t understand it, but hopefully he can enjoy the time granted him. Even if it is in Oz.