Observations #1

I can relate to my friend, I’ll call him Jim. One of ten children, he was sleeping when I spoke to him, something he does frequently at 91 years of age. He presently had no roommate in his home away from home. But he has a story. While talking with him, he volunteers that he served in WWII in Europe and as he recounts some of his experiences, he pulls up his sleeve to show me the two shrapnel wounds he suffered defending his country. I promise to visit with him on my next trip.
These two who have had busy successful lives are the parents of remarkable children but of late have sought an environment where some assistance is offered. They have had health problems but still can operate moderately well but are limited somewhat in their mobility. While they are satisfied with their present situation, still like an old fire horse who wants to answer the alarm but suddenly realizes the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak; they still strain to try to overcome the overwhelming lack of purpose in their lives. But they are presently dealing with a new challenge. They are trying to learn how to do nothing. The housekeeping is provided, the cleaning done, the food prepared and served, the medicine maintained and dispensed and someone is on call 24/7. Thankfully they have had a full life and memories are always on demand. Most importantly, they have each other.
Another septuagenarian is a former manager of a popular business locally. He still is able to move about without any particular difficulty; his challenge is that his nest was empty and his mind had a habit of playing “tricks” on him so he sought some assistance in his living accommodations. He is gregarious, has a compatible roommate about the same age who has a girl friend. A story Mr. E. told me about his own courting days had to do with the automobile the family owned; it was a 1934 Ford sedan. Black of course. He said that one special feature of the car was its engine; it was a V-8 although the car did have some shortcomings. There were no recalls back then. The problem was that the brakes would wear out quickly, but he said when he took the car to see his girlfriend, he had the answer for that. He would get a bucket of water and wash down the brake drums so that the moisture would cause expansion thereby temporarily making
them somewhat more reliable. He also recounted a story about his father, 50, who lived not too far from the ocean but had never seen it until one Sunday one of his sons drove him to the shore and when he first saw it, all he could say was, “That’s a lot of water!.” His father did not drive but a son convinced him to try one day. He did fairly well until he tried to stop the vehicle. He then learned that simply saying “Whoa” would not do the trick.

Then there is the Mr. Can Do It who seemingly loved challenges. He took up needle work and quilting when he retired and created some impressive results. He developed a skill in building miniature models of homes and furniture plus was able to design and outfit the toy models he placed in the sets. When he discovered the cost of framing his art works, he decided to do the framing himself and has examples to prove of his framing prowess. Now he is satisfied to be an observer rather than an actor in the drama called life.
Let me count the number of people whose lives I have touched for just one hour today. Let’s see, 3 in the lobby, 7 in the hallway, one at the end of the hall and 10 in the another wing to whom I have actually spoken, 5 in the meeting room and one to whom I take copies of the HERALD. Then in the newer wing, there were 11 encounters so looks like I interacted with 38 important people who of course made my life far more interesting. One might say such gives life purpose.

It’s better than any TV performance plus no commercials.

Bill Lee

PO Box 128

Hamer, SC 29547

Print Friendly, PDF & Email