Monday, October 29, 2012


                The next time I came to visit, the two were sitting at the dining room table; the tea cozy was  at the center, and the old man was leafing thru the mail.  They did not look like they were in any hurry to walk.

               We were just sitting here thinking how lucky we are to be  here with all this,”  she gestures with her hands thown up in the air, then points to the adjacent window thru which you can see miles and miles of forests and the great pacific ocean beyond. 
“ain’t that right honey,” she looks over to her husband.

      I was just thinking that I grew up on a farm” he remembers” and we had lots of chickens.  My first job was a door to door egg salesman.  You would be surprised how nice everyone was to me.. I usually had all my eggs sold at the end of the day.

           Do you happen to know how much a dozen eggs costs now in 2012?” I ask.
He looks over to his wife perhaps for some help with the answer but then he decides. “I’d imagine about 60 cents,”
His wife looks down but does not say anything.
“No, its about 4x that much, I say.
“I cannot believe that, he speaks louder than I have ever heard him “ How come?”

               Well honey, everything changes” she says in her most matter or fact voice.

And the next thing that happens is two heavyweights from the past come to the table,

       "You know my dad was there when ,” he stops for a moment to try and remember the name,  “Edison, yeah Thomas Edison turned on the first light switch and that got my dad so excited that he ended up manufacturing all sorts of switches and did really well too.”
“He also happened to be there the day the wright brothers took flight for the first time.”  My dad must have been about 9 or 10.  Think about it. It still sends chills down my spine to know that people can get in the air and fly everyday and my father was there when it all began.

“ I can’t believe it,” she quickly pats the back side of my hand,  “but I am getting lots of calls from my church, everyone wants to know when I am coming back,”  she begins,  
“I think I will let my daughter in law take me to the hairdresser this week and see how that goes.  Who would want to see me looking like this anyway?  I always try to sit in the back of the church so I would not have to far too walk.”
Whats that dear,” her husband leans over to try and pick up the conversation.
“Oh I was just saying to anina, that its time for me to get my hair done.”
He looks at her for a long time with his hands in his trademark resting place crossed on his chest and then looks at me across the table while pointing towards her.

“If it weren’t for this lady, she does everything around here. She sure is smart and knows how to do things.  I really can't thank her enough. "

She gets closer to me and says quietly; “He says that to me everyday .      My first husband was good too BUT so many woman tell me how lucky I am to have a  man that appreciates me.  It makes all the difference in the world.  Believe me.

For better or for worse.  I believe.  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

a snapshot of my day

When I arrived at my 93 year old patients house, she was seated at the dining room table with her husband.
"Would you mind if we took my husband on a walk with us today," she asked,  "My daughter in law would be so happy. "

The husband we are speaking about is 105!!!  Not a thing wrong with him except he sleeps a lot, cannot hear too well, cannot see too well, walks with a 4 wheeled walker and as his wife always tells me; "his favorite thing is opening the mail and sorting it in piles and re reading it over and over. "

I am here to see her.  She broke her hip and is doing great.  She is so attuned to her husbands every need that it takes awhile for her to realize I have come to help her with her recovery.

"He loves the red grapes.. they are so good."  she says to me as she is looking at her husband. "go ahead honey,  aren't they good this time.  He also likes crackers with honey.. Its a particularly good combination."

And just when I have excused myself for a second, I come back into the room and I see my patient helping her 105 year old husband to stand up    and put on his sweater and that is how I found myself with the wife on my one arm and her husband on the other side of me with his  four wheeled walker going outside to catch the last of the afternoon sun.

We walked and talked as we went up their driveway (he commented on what a lousy job the last guys did who paved the road) His wife added; "yes but we don't care anymore.. We are not driving.."

I told them both how good they were doing with their walking and when we arrived back at the house, she told me that he could now go and sit in the living room and he will have his tea.

She took the tea cozy off the teapot and poured him his tea in cup with a saucer and put it down on a table beside him.  The sugar bowl with the teaspoon was right beside him as were a few cookies.
"Go ahead honey, " she said,  "I'll join you shortly."

He did not answer her but put two teaspoons of sugar in his teacup and stirred and looked at me and smiled and then looked around for his cookies.

"You would be surprised how hot that tea is eventhough I boiled the water over 1 hour ago. isn't that right dear?"

He looked for the saucer on which to put his cup of tea and folded his arms in front on him and closed his eyes.

"He'll fall asleep right here," his wife says as she came around with her own cup of tea.

 As I get ready to leave,  I tell her that I would prefer that she use her cane outside when she walks again:

"Oh no," she responds with well rehearsed timing. "that would be for old ladies."