From Across Generations: Care Stories from Student Part Three
As part of the Caring Across Generations campaign, the Student Labor Action Project is proud to present a series of care stories from students. These stories not only show the true human impact of homecare in the country, but also that it is an issue that is not relegated to the elderly or adults.
Submit your own care story here.
The third story in the series comes from University of Massachusetts-Amherst student Annie Mombourquette. Annie is a junior and active in campus organizing.
Here is her story.
Alice Rose Boisvert, keeper of family tales and Labor Day cookouts, Christmas sweaters and BJs boxes of Mentos candy, quick to laugh and tell a story, share a smile and make a friend, died on August 8th, 2012. But to me, she was simply my Mummotts. The origins of her name were lost somewhere in the myths, legends and family folklore of Manchaug, MA and like most things, Mummotts took her name with great pride and great humility.
My grandmother was one to tell stories. She had a way of quieting a room of people as she talked about her life. I think it was because she spoke with such love of life and of family. Or perhaps, it was because she had such great fun telling her stories it made others want to join in.
Mummotts made a friend as quickly as she could tell a story and it was through this medium I came to know my grandmother. Her tales could be as mundane as a shopping trip or as harrowing as her experience with childhood poverty, but all were told with great humor and great love. When I went off to college, she became my pen pal, and I her first pen pal since World War II. As I began my time at UMass Amherst, she took the journey along with me. She learned about my hopes and dreams for the future. She told me of her lessons and learnings of the past.
When her house of 40 years became too difficult to maintain and too lonely to stand, she and my uncle moved into the apartment next to my family. As a result, we were able be with her this past summer as it became increasingly difficult to handle day to day tasks. She was never one to complain, but we all noticed as she could no longer beat me in scrabble or make dinner without stopping to rest. Her greatest fear was not being able to take care of herself. However, she always took her limitations with a joke and a smile.
My grandmother spent her last few weeks in and out of the hospital, but she could always win over the nursing staff with her humor. My grandmother taught me to love my family with all my heart. She taught me to enjoy the work I do. She taught me to tell stories and share lessons. This is why I share her story today because now it is my story. As a Personal Care Assistant in a nursing home, I always strive to give very best care I can offer because everyone is someones Mummotts. Everyone has a story to share and I have the honor to listen.