Today I visited Reba and Thelma like I had planned. Floyd never returned the hours that I was there today, but I am sure he is there now. Anyhow, I have been worried about his recovery. It makes you think to have so much resentment inside yourself, to be so angry with the outcome of your life, and then suddenly an illness or some circumstance occur to which you could face death. Would it change perspective or offer a chance at forgiveness? What if any man were to believe that he was cheated out of something monetary or even personal... would he be judged as wrong even if he didn't know any better?
Reba was precious as ever. The gallery pictures of her shows her smiling and laughing even though when I first saw her she was in so much pain in her left knee. Something with her happened today that broke my heart. I have mentioned she resembles my Granny in all ways well, as I was sketching her she mentioned that she has one daughter left. It is sometimes hard to listen to Reba talk not just because she struggles to get words out, even now it is hard to type that she shakes considerably and each word is as if her deepest breath. This struggle translates anything she says as to a pitiful sentiment that heightens the need to hear and understand her and I don't mean pitch. She told me her daughter hasn't visited in months (which, considering two sides to all stories and memory issues in most patients- I didn't care because it looked as if my own Granny had just told me no one wanted her). I continued drawing but I exclaimed "I will claim you," and without hesitation she replied, "I wish someone would." I don't think I will forget that...
I wanted to work with Thelma as long as I visited with Reba, but when I found that my battery in my camcorder had died, I was already welted with enough sadness that I allowed myself to feel, I just talked to Thelma for about twenty or so minutes and told her I would see her more Thursday.
Yesterday was Tuesday, May 27 and I planned on visiting Frank Brown and Floyd Ratliff. The schedule I made for myself is to visit five residents a week. Two on Monday, Two on Tuesday, and one on Thursday. I still haven't accomplished a solid schedule yet because actually yesterday was the first day I felt settled enough to draw them, but by the time I left Frank, which was about two and a half hours, I couldn't walk past a room where I have already begun to know these people and slip in to say "Hi," which really turns into thirty or more minute conversations. I said "Hello," to Reba and sat with her while she read her Bible. She was in Exodus, and told me she was reading about Moses.
I was excited to be talking to Frank and Floyd yesterday because they really are so different and fun to be around. Frank isn't shy but sort of backward as to say, he'll talk your ear off but take quick glances almost like how a child respects or fears an adult. He has a positive and uplifting personality whereas Floyd upon introduction, was said to be "moody." I knew we would get along great!
Floyd has a wreck about four or five years ago on a four-wheeler (in his seventies) and injured his head. As a result, his lower legs aren't much of use and to make matters worse I learned he has COPD and has trouble drinking. So naturally when I found that his door had been covered by a STOP banner, I shuddered thinking something awful might have happened. The nurses told me they took him to the hospital and when I got there he was sleeping. The nurse told me there that he had a bit of pneumonia but would return to the nursing home probably Tuesday night or Wednesday.
Today my plans are to visit Reba and Thelma. Also two very different people. Reba reminds me so much of my Granny all the way from her permed grey hair to her attention on her Bible. She has a little trouble speaking but can understand everything and reacts the same. She really lights up a room when she smiles!
It's so funny, when I first met Thelma, the social worker introducing us asked if I could have one of the hats she crocheted (she says she does sometimes two a day) and I said "Oh no! you keep those! They are too beautiful to give away!" I ended up having a tan one only to hear her say later one day "You know these people just take them! They don't even offer to ever pay me- and you know it takes me almost four hours to work on one," while she spits her snuff in a can. I felt awful and quickly redeemed myself by telling her I was going to bring money (today) to pay her for my hat.