Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Hanging on to everything.....

Dear Elizabeth, at 89, is so reluctant to throw anything out, no matter the condition. This is another valuable bit of information I am learning about our older seniors. Reassuring her that we can manage to take everything to the new unit brought her great relief, no matter the worth that I may place on her belongings. When I arrived, Liz was lying on her bed and in need of a I thought. Her bedroom was the next room to pack up, so I wrapped candles that had very little life yet, broken baskets and plastic flowers, while Liz conversed with me about her fears, the facility food, old friends that have passed and her devoted husband Ted. We went to see her new unit again as she needed reassurance that this new space would accommodate her life's belongings. I can imagine that at one time, this woman was fearless, strong and self assured. Today, she believes many have taken advantage of her now that she is old, and she strongly wants it reinforced that she may be old but never stupid. While standing in the elevator, she grabs for my hand which is always interlocked with hers on our walks, and asks,'' Do you have someone and someplace to go when you get old? Never come to these places. Yes, you must never come to these places.'' She wasn't speaking about this place in particular, but anyplace where you feel alone... with so much time to realize how alone you are. As my time was ending, I wrapped one last piece of Liz's past life, a book marker shaped in a cross she had given to her Ted with the inscription - to my Ted, I love you.

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