Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Angel at the Table

There is an angel that sits at my mother in law's table at the assisted living center. She is in relative good health, and has a sharp mind. She told me she came to the home because when her husband died, she felt she could be helpful to other old folk who needed assisted living. So she came to the Senior Home to live, and spread joy.

When I wheeled Mom K to the table yesterday, I was already giddy with joy. I had another brainstorm to prevent Mom K from any more falls. Since both had happened in the bathroom, despite hand rails on the walls, I thought it would be really good to find a raised toilet seat and preferably one with hand rails on both sides. I found one at Walgreens. It was of course the most expensive raised seat, but it said it could be installed with no tools and it had all I envisioned the perfect toilet seat should have.
I found Mom K in the Home parlor, plopped the seat on her lap and told her, "Look what I found! Let's go try it right away!"

I wheeled her with her gift back to her room and she watched while I set about reading the instructions and installing the seat. When I finished, Mom K clapped. We tested it, and found that none of the agonizing difficulty maneuvering with a low seat was present any longer. We were both ecstatic.

"Now you still need to use the call button for help every time you get up, but this will make it so much easier to be safe!" I said.
Then we wheeled on to lunch. The nurse popped by and whispered what a great idea that was, having been in Mom K's room after we had left. Jo, the angel, was already at the table. Mom K lifted the table cloth and began looking under the table.
"What are you doing?" I asked, "Is something wrong?"
Jo said, "Oh she always checks under the table. So do I. We just need to know what's what under there, don't we, Gert?"
Mom K smiled.

Next to Jo was a relatively young man. I can tell he must have had a stroke, or perhaps beginning Alzheimers. He could not have been more than 50. He was wearing a tight blue sweater.
"That's my sweater," whispered Jo to me, "He got cold. I keep him under wing. He reminds me of the grandson I never had."
The man suddenly spoke up, "Did you see the dogs....." and then he lost the word of what the dogs had been doing. He looked confused and then held both hands up moved them as though he was playing piano.
"Dancing?" I asked.
"Yes!" he cried delighted.
Now I have not been watching America's Got Talent this year, but I did know dancing dogs had made the semifinals. That's how I was able to pull that out of my hat.
"I heard they were really good," Jo said.
"They were," said the man.

Another table mate came,the one who sits where the man was at the moment, and a nurse led the man to his table across the room. As he was led away, he turned to Jo, and called out, "Thankyou."
"He has my sweater, just so you know," Jo told the nurse.
"I thought so," laughed the nurse.
The new lady sat down.
"You always look so nice!" I told her, "Always with some wonderful jewelry or hair piece!" She wore a sparkling butterfly in her hair at the moment.
"Sometimes looks like a tart, just between you and me," whispered Jo."You do look nice today," she added in a louder voice to the new arrival.
Across from us, Florence now sat down.
I said, "Hi Florence, how are you?"
Florence looked straight ahead. She did not respond.
Jo waved at Florence and pointed to her ears, "Is your hearing aid on?"
Florence adjusted a knob and I said Hi again. This time she smiled and waved.
"See," said Jo, "We always wave at Florence first, me and Gert both...right Gert?"
Mom K laughed and waved at Florence. Florence waved back. All four ladies including me now waved at Florence, who smiled broadly.

Spreading joy. Such simple things the angel at Mom K's table does, and yet I left there almost wishing I could have sat there all day soaking in the delight in little things.

James 3:17-18 (NIV)
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. [18] Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

-save a dog-

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