Experience is a Doorway, Not a Final Destination- Oswald Chambers

Friday, February 12

Retirement Home Revelries

When I was in high school I worked at a retirement home as a waitress. I grew to know and appreciate the quirks of the residents there.

Elsie and Robert were a couple that usually sat at a table by themselves. Robert drank hot water with lemon every day. Mary, a few tables over, had a raspy smokers voice. "Butta! Where's the butta?!" she'd yell. She did not know how to speak quietly.

Wanda always wore pink and when I told her she looked nice, she would pat her hair and blush while George, with his neck scarf and black rimmed glasses, hit on every female that walked through the room.

I will never forget the day that E refused to eat her meal. She was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's and stubborn about what she ate. I was under strict orders to serve her soup, a meal and then ice cream for dessert. She only ever wanted soup and ice cream so when the plate of potatoes, chicken and green beans came out she stared at it for the longest time.

I walked by her table a while after the meal was served and asked her how she was doing. She gave me the stink eye, punched me in the shoulder and spit out chewed chicken on her plate as if to say, "You see that vomit on my plate? There is more where that came from. Go ahead and try to feed me again."

I wonder what I will be like when I have gray hair and am two inches shorter? I hope I have as much projection as Mary, as much beauty as Wanda and as strong of a body punch as E.

3 comments:

Jana Alexis said...

I love older people! I volunteered at a nursing home in Australia and my highlight was reading to a blind man. The tears just rolled down his face...I don't think he had many visitors.
Thanks for posting your stories!

allisongraber said...

I was just speaking to my relatives who knew some of the residents at the retirement home and found out that every one of the residents that I mentioned in this article have passed away. So sad.

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