No Longer Relevant


I sit in the corridor, because the air in my room is stale. And  because my roommate hasn’t stopped moaning and groaning since she got here,  three years ago.

My children told me the nursing home would provide companionship and responsible health care, but that’s just what the brochure says.

The others here are older than I, weaker, and  often depressed. Staying cheerful and upbeat around them, and  mostly-overworked nurses  has not been easy.

At home, I kept busy with organizing my cupboards and drawers, and inviting friends over for coffee or an evening of inspiration. We discussed all kinds of life-enhancing topics, and laughed about our aches and pains. We forgot half of what we’d told each other the last time we met, so we never ran out of things to talk about!

Yet, here I sit, in the gleaming, pristine hallways of Serenity Nursing Home, feeling anything but serene.

In the last three years, I’ve swallowed about 500 pills, none of which I can name. I’ve choked down tasteless mush three times a day. I’ve started conversations with my roommate that went nowhere because she can hardly hear, so she always gets insulted by things I’ve never actually said.

I joke with staff members who barely smile, and laugh before the punchlines, because they assume I have no idea what I’m saying anyway.

I am no longer relevant!

My children visit me once a month. Usually the first Sunday of the month, so they can cross it off their calendars, I guess.

The visits are superficial at best.

Here is a sampling:

Grown Child: (loudly enough to wake the dead) Hello, Grandma! How have you been?

Me: Could be better.

Child: Better? Awesome! How’s the food?

Me: Tasteless, pretty much.

Child: Tasty? Awesome! Sleeping well?

Me: Not a wink. My roommate…

Child: (even more loudly) Not your roommate, Grandma. How have YOU been sleeping?

Me: Okay, I suppose.

Child: That’s good. You need your sleep!

Me: For what, exactly?

Child: Hahaha, oh Grandma, you’re so cute.

You get the idea.

So, I’m planning to escape.

Not sure how, when, or where I’ll go, but I’ve got to get out of here. Will you help me?

I can wash dishes, fold laundry ,and do homework with your children. I offer great advice, but only if you ask me – not unsolicited. I don’t eat much,and lukewarm bottled water suits me fine. I wear the same three housecoats during the week, and a special robe on Shabbos. That’s about it.

If I spend one more week sitting in this bleak corridor, talking to absolutely no one, I’m going to lose it. I might start screaming like a lunatic, “Get me out of here!”

Please, save me before that happens, or they’ll lock me up in a much worse place than this, for sure.

I would offer to pay you, but my children monitor my savings accounts. Maybe you can kidnap me, hold me for a high ransom, and tell my children they better show up with the money or you’ll kill me. Then, after they Zelle you the money, you say, “We decided to keep her, after all.”

If they sound relieved, no further action need be taken. If they sound upset, tell them they can still visit me once a month, just as they do now.

It’s a fail-proof plan, no?

Oh wait, you don’t want to go to jail, right?

So I myself will confess to the police that it was all a ruse, created by me, to escape from a nursing home that was not meeting my needs. The nursing home might protest, but only because of the money, so we’ll settle with them.

Just please, take me far away from here.


If you are reading this heartfelt message, that means Phase 1 of my Great Escape Plan has already succeeded, so you can count on me for the rest, too.

Do we have a deal?

I just thought of an even better plan.

Suppose you whisk me off to one of those beautiful luxury homes, a Florida Kosher Villa! I’m pretty sure that’s  fair compensation for all I’ve been through at Serenity Nursing Home over the last three years.

In a Florida Kosher Villa, I will enjoy the exquisite scenery, the wonderful neighborhood, and my very own swimming pool. I can sleep in a different bedroom each night, if I wish. Central air conditioning, and upscale appliances.

Can you imagine? I used to keep all my food in an ice box; now I’ll have a refrigerator that makes ice cubes!

Yes, please reserve a Florida Kosher Villa for me as soon as possible. Don’t worry, the ransom money will cover all expenses.