My first job probably taught me the most about life. It left me with a lasting impression. It was a nursing home.
I was about 19 years old and “green as grass”. I remember sweating from running around like a chicken and I made my job twice as hard. It was my job to bathe 6-8 people and it took me the entire shift.
The ladies that were there were mostly black and older and kind. I am sure they laughed at me. A lot. As a matter of fact, I know they did. But they laughed in a way, that made me laugh too. Some of their advice, I can repeat. Some still makes me giggle.
Their wisdom and little comments stuck with me.
I remember how sweet they were when we lost a patient I loved. Mr. Roosevelt.
He was an old black man with both legs amputated. He did not speak much. But I loved him.
They were gathered at the counter when I walked in to tell me.
I went to his room and cried. It was over twenty-five years ago and I am crying now.
One lady told me she was an artist. She wanted to sketch me. I let her.
When I was taking my Christmas tree down last month , I remembered one sweet soul. I gave her a vanilla ensure and I guess in her in her mind she thought it was eggnog and Christmas.
She also thought I was her daughter.
She promised me that she would walk to see me when I got married soon. That I did not have to worry. Momma would always come see me. She brushed back my hair. I will never forget it.
I am thankful for the few minutes that I was her daughter.
I used to think losing your memory was a terrible thing.
Then again, when little smells and tastes take me back to the best years of my life-
I find it is better not to think. And instead, Just remember…
One thought on “Lasting impressions…”
I worked in a nursing home many years ago as a porter. There are 2 folks that still stick in my memory. One was a lady who stood outside of her room a lot. She would always say that her daughter was coming. I learned from a nurse that her daughter never once came.
Then there was this elderly black lady who couldn’t walk and was tethered to a chair to keep her from falling out. We were warned to be very careful around her because she was as mean as a pit bull. If you got too close she would whack you. But she was funny at times.