Hello Good People,
First of all this blog will not be as short as I would like or you would like? There is no way around it. One day I would like to be a brevity writer…
This last year at my job we have lost lots of residents. Some have moved and some have passed away, either way it’s been tearful. One particular resident who recently passed had been at the home for as long as I can remember. (I have been there fourteen years almost.)
We called him “Jack” because he favored “Jack Nicholson” right up to his brows and wrinkles on his forehead. “Jack” stayed cranky most of the time and was plucked out by a few of the residents for target practice. One lady resident he particularly couldn’t stand. When “Jack” would yell out like he did in the dining-room. (most mornings) she would be the first to tell him to “shut up no one wants to hear your mouth.” One morning as she walked past his table after yelling at him she said “toodles Jack” he sat back in his chair slowly and nicely told her “have a rotten day.”
This was what I loved about “jack” he pulled no stops when it came to how he felt about people and when SOME of our residents would make snide remarks to him. He never backed down. He had a rival lets call him “Charlie Chaplin” for his protection and also there mustaches are similar. When “Chaplin” was able. He would go around the tables in the dining-room collecting the “clothing protectors” he was gathering up the “protectors” from a table which put “Chaplin” directly behind “Jack” (remember my residents are blind…) “Jack” wings his “protector” backwards and it landed perfectly over “Chaplin’s” head and being the nurse on duty I yelled “jack” why did you do that? “Jack” says “Shelley I’m in the ball throw for special olympics and I was practicing!! He wasn’t trying to be funny either it came out that way because even though he was an adult he was childlike grown up but not… If you catch my drift?
“Jack’ walked on a walker most of the time. The last few years he became short of breath and walked with a limp and grimaced as he did so. He didn’t once complain or tell us he was having trouble with these things. WE noticed he was struggling. When we confronted him, his response was “What The Hell Are You Talking About” (God I miss that man) we got him seen and he was ordered a wheelchair that we never once pushed until the man was near death.
“Jack” was a Cubs fan and also had a hard time hearing. I’m not a huge baseball fan but was born and raised around the cubs my entire life. My dad is a die-hard, my husband is too and most of the residents at the home are. You could always hear the ball game from “jacks” room because he blared it up so high. When they would win he would yell Cubs WIn Cubs Win! automatically I’d think to myself WOO HOO WOO HOO because I knew my father and husband were happy as well. I long for the day the Cubby’s when the series’ and hope my dad lives to see it. It is on my bucket list and I hope to be sitting right next him.
A week before “Jack” passed away “Make a wish Foundation” notified our home. They asked if there was anything they could do before “Jack” died? “Jack didn’t know he was passing untill his last night here on earth. So our boss told them he was a Cubs fan and that if the announcer could just mention his dedication to the Cubs and where he was from, we thought that would be enough. Sure enough the night I was on duty taking care of him. He was all geared up in his Cubs wear telling me all about what they’d said on the radio. The whole night he repeated the broadcast over and over again.
I got to spend a night with “Jack” right before his transition and he fought a good fight right up to the end. Even though he couldn’t talk anymore. Whenever I told him I was getting ready to give his meds or wipe his mouth, his eyebrow would raise up and he would do his best to help me. It was slight but I noticed it. I walked away that morning knowing I wouldn’t see him when I clocked back in and things have been different ever since then.
If you follow me the other day I put a picture up. One of my residents and I coming back from the doctor. My residents have taken me places that I only hope that you can get a hint of in my writing. When time allows there will be more. It has been here where my soul has grown and I can’t help but watch the wondering ways people drive by or hear about the people in our home and not stop to get a little piece of heaven.