I found them. Yesterday, my dad, brother, nephew and I made the trek to my Great-aunt's 99th birthday party. It was to be a raging convalescent home party. Amazingly, Aunt Jerry has lived completely on her own until 2 weeks ago when she broke her pelvis and has been in a convalescent hospital since.
When we arrived in the LA suburb where she is, my dad believed he had good directions from his brother about where the party was to be held. But we couldn't find it anywhere. I'm an active member of 21st century society, so I called 800-Goog-411 to get a specific address for Verdugo Vista Convalescent Hospital. The very nice Goog lady immediately gave me an address for Verdugo Valley convalescent hospital located on the very same street my uncle had directed. Great! We parked the car and entered the building. I immediately became concerned that we were scarring my 10 year old nephew for life by taking him in there.
The first person we met pointed at my brother with determination and said, "Hi Ken, good to see you!" Yes, it was very friendly, however my brother's name is NOT Ken and he has never seen this guy before in his life. That was the first sign that we weren't in Normalville anymore! I found a worker and asked them to direct us to the "rec room" and she told us just down the hall to the right. Come to find out she sent us to the "restroom." The confusion was most likely caused by the fact that none of the workers spoke English.
Another lady in the hall pointed at us and said, "there's the dad, and there's the mom and there's the uncle and there's the kid." As we walked away she started shouting, "Hey, your family is leaving, the family is leaving. Get the family, they're leaving"
The halls were filthy! Strange people were talking to themselves and wandering around. One man in a wheel chair almost rolled down the stairs while we were standing there. I leaned over to my brother and told him, "ummm, our kind of people don't belong here."
Come to find out, our people aren't there. Our Aunt was staying at Verdugo Vista Convalescent home on a completely different street. It makes me very sad to think about the crazy people living in that first hospital. They are the forgotten. I just hope that if I suddenly become crazy, I won't be forgotten and sent to a depressing dirty place with all of the other crazies.