Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Even though my work with Elizabeth has ended, periodically I pop in to see how she is doing. I found her sitting on her new balcony, the straw hat I bought for her balancing on the back of her head, and her feet propped up on a stool! It was wonderful to see her so content having recently moved to an assisted floor. Intending on perhaps a half hour visit turned into a two hour one, as she spoke of her life with her Ted, the love of her life for 45 years.She shared how he was too kind for this world, where others took advantage of him, to which retribution was never a thought... let alone an option. Tears surfaced when she spoke of the stomach ulcer that eventually became cancer and took her husband's life in 1976. Elizabeth has been on her own since that year, with no children. She asked if I could move a table to the balcony, teach her to work the digital tv, and look in to see if the riser for the toilet was worth the $66.00 she spent, to which I reassured her was a deal! In the 10 minutes it took to do these small tasks, the kindness shown behind the gestures will last so much longer for Elizabeth, knowing she is cared about, and worthy of such attention. While we munched on oranges, there's a budding tree that extends over the balcony railing, and Elizabeth joked that hopefully it will be an apple tree that provides free produce for her!! At 89, she remains someone to reckon with if one thinks for one second that she is stupid. She taps her index finger to her temple and quips,'' I may be OLD but STUPID I am not!'' I second that notion!
The flu outbreak is lifted where Catherine lives, so today we were back on track having been apart for 2 weeks. It's now time to decorate Catherine's suite that had been put off, and now her son is to visit at Easter,a refreshing excitement at presenting her new home has taken over! We hopped in the car and travelled 2 minutes away to the neatest cheapest secondhand store just around the corner! What a treat to see Catherine so thrilled at the prospect of shopping on a dime! Seeing as I just helped her downsize and de-clutter, picking up new trinkets seemed silly, but silly was the doctor's orders for the day. Sixty seven dollars, and an hour later, we proudly sauntered to the car with a dusty soon- to- be beautiful crystal lamp, a tiny porcelain pink rosebud night lamp, a German glazed vase, a unique French Cognac bottle (empty unfortunately), and a framed antique painting of red roses! We felt the need to celebrate and landed at McDonald's where we devoured hamburgers, french fries, and banana strawberry smoothies. Catherine voiced how she hasn't had so much fun in a long time, and over 30 years,( if memory served her well), since she has had a hamburger! Sitting across from each other, my Big Mac in hand, Catherine was dismayed that her burger,unlike mine, had no sesame seeds on the bun or lettuce topping her small regular burger! Who knew she would have preferred a Big Mac! I took the crystal lamp home with me, polished it to death with Windex, found a ivory shade for it's top, and wrapped a pink ribbon around it! In the morning Catherine will have a brand new lamp to light her newly decorated suite......for a mere $25.00!!!!!!