Children · friendship

The Other Night

Keeps re-playing in my mind.

It was supper time at work and two other people were working with me. Things were to quiet and I felt uncomfortable. I let out this loud  random laugh. The guy serving looks at me and says “are you okay”  “yes”  in a quiet tone looking me deep in my eyes he says “are you sure” uh yea I’m fine thanks! after asking for the second time I realized his question was sarcastic.. I feel bad and dumb about laughing out loud. There wasn’t any reason for me to do such a thing. It must have made him think it was directed towards him and I guess it was.

We live in a duplex and my neighbors just had a baby I can hear her crying over there and I want to run over and ask if I can hold her.

My friend Allison just called. She told me on Halloween her and her family made hot chocolate for Trick-or-Treaters, next year she said they’re going to grill hotdogs for everyone who wants one because when she was Trick-or-Treating with her kids she got hungry walking around with them. She didn’t have time to  eat after she got off work. She thinks this will help a lot of parents out in their travels…

Last night Gabe was playing with his tablet before bed. On his tablet screen was the weather and the dark night full of bright stars. I watched as he held it up looking into the night on the screen and says…

“I wish a may I wish I might have this wish I wis tonight”

“I wish for all the Pokemon cards in the whole wide world”

Family · friendship · Home

Apartment 116 Second Half

Dear Reader,

Do you remember back in April when I wrote this post? Please take a minute to read so you can catch up on this resident of mine. I like to refer to as “Emmet Brown”. You know “Doc” from Back To The Future”? The reason I have named this resident after “doc” is because of privacy laws, which is crucial in the medical field. I also want you to be able to imagine her, not just her looks but demeanor also.

Our facility is one level. I don’t know the square foot right off-hand. It is however a square, that goes in a circle. This way residents know where they’re going. The middle of the wall is lined with a thick wooden rail in case the residents need them for guidance, since they are without site or if they need a little support for balance.

“Emmet”used to do her laps (exercise) around the hall wearing her headphones with these Giant, black, circled sunglasses, singing Belinda Carlisle “Circle In The Sand” it goes something like this.

Sundown all around
Walking thru the summer’s end
Waves crash baby, don’t look back
I won’t walk away again
Oh, baby, anywhere you go,
We are bound together
I begin, baby, where you end
Some things are forever!
Circle in the sand
‘Round and ’round
Never ending love is what we’ve found
And you complete the heart of me
Our love is all we need
Circle in the sand
Cold wind, tide move in
Shiver in the salty air
Day breaks, my heart aches
I will wait for you right here.
Oh, baby when you look for me
Can you see forever?
I begin baby, where you end
We belong together
Circle in the sand
‘Round and ’round
Rising of the moon as the sun goes down
And you complete the heart of me
Our love is all we need
Circle in the sand
Circle in the sand
Baby can you hear me?
Can you…

Every time she sang the round and round part she would actually circle round in round. She’s a lover of music. I know this because of the fourteen years I have been there. I bet you would never guess that she used to teach piano, she has her bachelors in music, she plays the piano by ear, and if you want to know a name of song, person, or group who sings it just ask, nine times out of ten she can tell you. This is phenomenal, at least to me? We have more Helen Keller stories.

I don’t want to take anything away from Keller but did you know her teacher Johanna “Anne” Sullivan? Who also was legally blind? She contracted trachoma a highly infectious eye infection, when she was eight years old which left her blind without reading or writing skills. Her mother also died around this same time and her father abandoned her because he felt he could not raise her and her brother on her own. They were sent to an almshouse in Tewksbury Massachusetts, her brother suffered from a debilitating hip ailment and died as well. She remained at Tewksbury for four years. She had eye operations that offered relief for her eye pain but proved ineffective. I-am not going to  plagiarise the whole story. I just want to give you the background of another phenomenal person who walked a step behind, read the story when you get time. I read it with another resident of mine a few nights ago. We both were taken back by what we didn’t know about Anne.

The home has offered me more than a laugh and I hope I gave you that clarity in this post, Also a part of the world that you miss and I don’t. Have you not felt that way in your life? Where you asked yourself why can’t everyone experience this?

The other day in Emmets room giving her, her medicine she informs me she is “Pissed” I do a double take because she is not a social person except to the voices in her head.

Me: Why are you “Pissed”

Emmet: I called Recycled Records to ask him when Charles Hardin Holley (Also known as Buddy) Birthday was? He told me an a firm voice, “I don’t know call your local library and ask them”

Me: Did you call the local library

Emmet: I called the operator and she didn’t know the number to the “local library” nor did she know when Holley’s Birthday was…

Me: Emmet what made you think of this question

Emmett: I was listening to his song “Think It Over” and starting thinking over his Birthday….

I always ask questions. You learn from them. My residents have taught me things I didn’t  know or thought about and these things I will take with me and not forget because of the way they tell the story.

Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959)

Johanna “Anne” Mansfield Sullivan Macy (April 14, 1866 – October 20, 1936) She died holding Keller’s hand. What started out as a “Job” being a teacher ended in a life long friendship…

Children · Family · Home

My First Guest Post

My son Gabe, is in kindergarten this year. He is doing good. He says he likes kindergarten but also enjoys stay home days, (which are Saturday and Sunday). Every week they have “Person Of The Day”  and Gabe was the guy. I thought all of you would enjoy seeing what my main squeeze had to say. All of the kids had to draw a picture of Gabe doing what he loved. I picked one out of twenty-four because its too much right now to put them all up here!IMG_0889

Daily Post · Family

Unto The Breach

 Grab a coffee and get comfy!
You may grab a java and get comfy!

Dear Friends,

Decisions, decisions How are you more likely to make an important decision-by reasoning through it, or by going with your gut?

If you would have asked me this question about four months back, I would have told you that I contemplated on all my decision. I would call my three life lines and run things by them asking what they thought?  After having confirmation from them, I would still teeter and stagnate. Sometime its easier to play it safe, Don’t you think? One of my procrastinations was moving, yes moving out of the Tin Can. It had nothing to do with the fact that it was a trailer. We had not been good at keeping the trailer up. The home needed some repairs. There were some dents in the floor, the carpet had been there since I moved in eight years ago, windows were cracking and leaking, the place just needed to be refurbished. If I knew then what I know now I would have made the changes it needed before moving in. If you want me to be real though. My finances at the time would not allow me to do the repairs, it needed then. It was perfect for me than because it was just myself and my foster baby. He was getting ready to leave and go live with his grandma. This was not a choice of mine. We prayed and prayed. The day they tested his D.n.a, because an older lady thought he’d  belonged to her son. If that was the case she wanted to step up. My family and I fought hard for the little, dark, chunk of burning love but we lost… He brought us seven months of joy and the decision was out of my hands.

We had to make a decision about the trailer. To put money the money we had into it or find something else. We wracked our brains and eyes, always driving around looking but nothing more than looking. I was getting board and confused about what my husband wanted to do. He wasn’t saying much. I was overwhelmed with all the things we accumulated and needed to get rid of because they were collecting dust. I made a phone call one day to my dad and told him basically what I wrote to all of you. He informed me that I was holding myself back and gave me clarity.

Dad: Shelley, Sometimes you have to hold your nose and jump in. I would be still living in the trailer you grew up in, if  I hadn’t jumped. You make your decision than you learn that sometimes there right and sometimes there wrong. The only way you’ll find out, is by taking a chance. You’re a good judge and whatever you choose to do I-am confident you will be okay.

We made the move and I feel so much better. We did not buy a house, yet. We our living in a five-room duplex its small, remodeled and clean. We got rid of all those things that were collecting dust, if we need any maintenance work we just call the landlord. This works for us right now because we work, have a child, and a marriage to maintain. We decided at this point we’re not big fix it people. So if we bought a house we might end up right back in the situation we started in. If there is one thing I try to live by that also came from my dad years ago. “Never Back Only Forward”

 

 

Daily Post · friendship

Flight 1995

Middle Seat

It turns out that your neighbor on the Plane (or the person sitting at the table next to you is a chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

Shortly after my graduation, I flew to Florida to visit a friend. I boarded the plane and found my seat it was on the right hand side of the back of the plane. I was one seat away from sitting next to the isle. There was a space between me and a short, slender, Korean lady. She had her face and body pressed towards the window as far as she could go. She gave me a glance and then smashed herself back into the window. I sat down and got situated with my music gear preparing for take off. I noticed after I stopped shuffling around. My neighbor, was sniffling and quivering. Was she crying I thought to myself? All I could see was her long, shiny, healthy, black, hair. I figured I better put my headset on and mind my own business. (not typically my style).

After we got up in the air she peeled herself off the seat and told me she had to use the restroom. She had a few Kleenex in her hand waded up when she came back. I could see her watery eyes, her red nose, and another surprise growing in her tummy. I figured this was a sad situation, after about an hour of still hearing her sniffling, catching her breath and quivering. I decided to approach  her. I knew it was the right thing to do. If she turned me down I could live with it and have no regrets.

Me: Are you going to be okay

Her: No not for a while

Me: If you would like to talk about it, we can?

Her story

Her parents sent her off to college. I can’t recall which one, this has been years ago. I want to say somewhere in Washington D.C  They had deposited a check into an account for her to help get by while she was going to school. The amount was insane TO ME. I take they were well off. She then started crying, telling me most of the money was gone. She had met some friends at college and they decided to boycott school and take a few trips. She told me during this time she met someone who was married and basically dated him until she got pregnant then things started going down hill. He disappeared and quit answering her calls, he even changed his number and left the job he had. She was telling me all this and scratching herself all over her body. She said the pregnancy was stretching out her skin and making her itch, she wasn’t able to keep any food down, her clothes were getting to small and she wasn’t happy. She hadn’t told her parents about the money or the baby. She said the only people who knew was herself, the boyfriend and me. She told me she left town after people started asking her if she was pregnant. She sobbed and sobbed as she poured herself out to me. She was looking for someone somewhere to perform an abortion. She said only certain States perform them after a certain amount of months. She was five months, twenty weeks and torn about the decision. She said she could feel the baby moving around inside her and it was basically pulling at her heart-strings. The conversation went around in a circle for most of the flight. I never said much to her because I felt like I was there to listen. I stayed as monotone as I am in this post. When the plane landed she grabbed me and gave me a hug. I hugged her tighter and told her she would be in my thoughts, and she has been for almost twenty years.

Family · friendship

Interview Times Eight

Dear Christy,

How are things going with you? let me know in the comments or give me a ring. I have been thinking of my friend of thirty years lately.  So I thought I would write you an open letter and catch you up blog style. I had a job interview the other day. I may have informed you a bit ago about how Cheryl’s sister, Sondra’s husband has been trying to talk me into working where he works. He says they pay better and they have better insurance… They’re about three times the size of where I work now.

I wanted to tell you about the interview process

I signed in at the front desk at ten o’clock. The time my interview was set for. They informed me it was a group interview and to have a seat. There were five other girls sitting in the chairs in front of the desk. I put a big smile on my face and sat next to a girl who was still in high-school. She said hello and asked me my name and told me hers. She told me this was her “second interview here, but first group interview.” I could tell she was a bit nervous just like me and trying to stand out a bit by being friendly.(We discussed it might be a part of the interview to see how we interact with strangers.) A few moments after sitting down a woman named “Kathy Bates” asked us if we were ready? We all agreed, she said to follow her. We walked back further into the lobby where a Grand Piano sat, in front of it were five or six tables and chairs (wooden) If you look further there was a black tile floor for maybe dancing? (whatever you as the reader would like to imagine) we took a sharp left down a long hall, which was boring so I didn’t pay much attention to detail, around another corner we took there were residents eating in a “restaurant” type  area that actually had a counter, and a person behind it grilling, and a waitress on the floor taking orders from the five or six residents dining. We walked around another corner that led us to the door of this theatre type room with four rows of theatre type chairs, down by the screen was eight people men and woman dressed to the nines with clip boards and papers. We all got seated and “Kathy Bates” explained to us how they like doing interviews this way because it works for them. She didn’t go into detail. My mind did. I figured since they’re a good size  facility it goes quicker. They can interview everyone at one time instead of scheduling each individual interview and it taking weeks sometimes months. She said she was going to ask each of us a question, which she did. She had us start by each of us telling who we were and how long we had been nursing assistants? here are a few questions.

1.) Tell me a negative situation you were in that had a negative outcome?

2.) How would you handle a combative resident with dementia?

3) (My question) What do you do on your down time? Me: I have been at my job for fourteen years. I have moved into a friendship with most of my residents. I’m usually in their rooms spending time with them and helping them clean.

The panel of people by the screen was taking notes after each one of us answered our questions. When they got done writing our answers, “Kathy Bates” informed  us they were going to the back room to discuss who would proceed further into the interview process and not to be upset if you  were “sent home.” I thought to myself “what is this American Idol? We all sat there for about ten minuets and a guy named “Bluto” came to the front and says Shelley and “Betty Boop” come with me!

Return for the second half of Life In My Tin Can…….

 

 

friendship

Lately

I have not been able to find the words to write a post. I am finding out that I enjoy reading about others just as much if not more than my own life. I am sure I have built up an imagination on those of you, I read about. I find myself wanting to ask who you are, where your from, and if you’re everything my mind has made up? I talk to my mom about SOME of you. She is real wise. She sometimes thinks I get to wrapped up,but she listens to what I read her and even sometimes comments. She is not big into blogs but if she was all of you would like her. I know a FEW of you have been going through some hard times. I know we don’t know one another, at times I want come over to your houses and hug you and let you know you have a friend in me. Please don’t think weird of me. I take it this is SOME of the reason you write. I have just been thinking on writing something up to show you how much your blogs have touched my life and know I’m thinking of you.

https://hometogo232.wordpress.com

https://loveletterstoaghost.wordpress.com

https://myfridayblog.wordpress.com

https://raspberrydaydreams.files.wordpress.com

Family · friendship

In Loving Memory of Room 127

"Jack and another resident. Saying goodbye as she moved to another home.
“Jack and another resident. Saying goodbye as she moved to another home.

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.

 

 

 

 

friendship · memories

2960 Ashley Avenue

image
Life is full of surprises!

Haya ho silver eighty peeps!

I wanted to share this gift I received from a secret pal at work not to long ago.It put a smile on my face about a mile long. I had been working my tail to the bone this specific week and this small gesture took a big load off the old backside.