Monday, January 31, 2011

E: Is For Eternity, Eager and Elderly...12 RPAK Series...

I decided today to stop in at the nursing home to put in some more credit towards my "emotional community service hours"...I always walk in with the feeling of something unexpected is going to happen...I don't know if unexpected in my mind is seeing random old people wheeling around in the hallway (I like to secretly imagine them playing like a Mad Max ThunderDome wheelchair derby) or God forbid walking by a room and knowing someone has passed away.

I have a fear of elderly people...with good reason-anyone that follows my Facebook knows why.  But also because I have a fear of speaking to someone who potentially knows everything--like EVERYTHING. I am scared I am going to ask something stupid or offensive...hell I do that with people in everyday life let alone national treasures in a local nursing home.

So I was told to go visit a lady down the hall, who they felt could use the company and would hopefully not die, scream profanities (although I would have LOVED that) or call me by a long lost grand-daughters name.  I wont say the lady's name to protect her identity--as well as her families...who I might add--I do not know. So no fears everybody--your grandma was not chilling with my kooky ass today.

I came in the I always do--very nervous and kinda doing this weird high pitch giggle that I tend to do when usually happens at funerals. I am sure if that particular tidbit gets out--I will not be received as positively and be known as the Giggling Angel Of Death from that point on.

Anyways..."Bettie" as we will call sitting in her room, watching Maury--I like her instantly because of this. I ask her quietly "Bettie--the nurses said you may like some company, may I sit down?". I figured if all else fails and she didn't talk I could watch Maury and find out if that one chick had to test another 37 men to find that baby Daddy. Win win scenario.

Bettie turns her head and looks in my direction but doesn't speak...I walk closer...she holds her hand out...I am now in full blown she blind? Crap...not because she is blind--but because I hate worrying about if I am screaming at her....because YES we all do it--admit it. Hellooo she's BLIND not DEAF.

I am now right next to her bed debating on touching her hand--she is looking right through me...I say "Bettie--I'm sorry, can you see me?"...she says...and I am not even joking- "Well of course I can--but your wearing a camo sweatshirt and you don't look like you hunt, so I thought maybe you didn't want to be seen!"...yep...I have won the old lady lottery. I plop my butt down and begin to bond with the elder version of my smart ass self.

Bettie and I talked for well over an hour...we talked about love, kids, politics (boy oh boy that was a hoot) and back to family. See, Bettie's family does not come and see her...they live far away, and in her opinion they wouldn't "come see me even if they were close by-because they are assholes"...(score!)...She told me not to wait for the love of my life...I needed to go find him, to think of it like finding that perfect dress...fits great, looks good on you, and it never loses its appeal....yep...she giggled alot while talking about this--and I have a feeling Bettie was talking more about anatomy then love for a dress.

She had me in awe...I knew I was in the presence of someone who had experienced life, and now...was experiencing the end of it. She had loved...she was a proud mother ("even if they are assholes")...she could make the best bread in IL...and she knew that if you don't laugh at least once a day-you will die. A theory I have subscribed to most of my life...besides I cry horrible...remember Facebook friends--"snot bubbles"...yeh I said it, Pam Sichts. :)

I had a moment driving to work where I realized she had a made a point to tell me to slow will slip between your fingers...and we all know this--but to have it said by someone who is experiencing it currently...and wondering when the end is near....powerful.

We have become a world of "hurry!hurry! wait!" as I like to call it...rush, rush, rush...we tap dance in front of the microwave...we download songs/movies before they are released...we have CHILDREN having sex--if you are under 20yrs old--you are a child, get over it....why are you in such a hurry to experience something that doesn't even begin to make sense until your in your 30's (yeh girls...think about that for a second)...hurry and give our kids cell the hell did we make it??? Oh yeh--when the street lights came on in the summer, I got on my bike and took my happy ass home. Period! Pushing our children to adulthood as fast as we can...and pushing ourselves to never learn patience.

So before you go out and buy the fastest technology, the quickest cooking time, and complain about an early release movie not being early enough...go to the nursing home. I guarantee you will walk a little slower, love more thorough, and hold hands with your loved ones-instead of racing each other through life. There is no contest to get to the end of your life fastest...its called death--and its permanent.

I ask her if I can come see her again...her reply? "Sure kid, but next time bring chocolate."...and I will...and we will sit and eat every square as slow as we can.


  1. How incredible. Oh, how it multiplies. =)

  2. I am pretty impressed with this wow I guess I missed something along the way with everyone donating money to your cause. But what you are doing to pay it back is amazing cause you see my mother is in a nursing home and most of my brothers and sisters are assholes about the way the go and see her, they might make it every couple of weeks, I try at least 2 or 3 times a week to go see her. Of course this winter has been a little hard with all the crappy snow we have had but if I can't make it I at least call her. You see I think a lot about how many hours she sits there with no visitors and it makes me very sad. Although the nursing home she is in is wonderful and she is very liked there. It just makes me sad to think she has all day to sit and basically do nothing. The tears roll down my face as I think about it and write this. Thanks for doing such an unselfish thing because you have made a difference in that ladies life. Love ya girl
    Rose George


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