Another Resident, Says Goodbye

I want to tell YOU, we said goodbye to Karl, last week. He was 86, give or take a few.

I will spare you the descriptive details.

Karl, had Liver cancer. He told me, and my co-workers when he found out he was dying. He did not want anyone feeling sorry for him. This blog is my way, of honoring him the best way I know how.

Karl, lived at our home for over thirty years. He was partially sighted, legally blind in our state, and the state he was originally from. In his younger years when the home was located on South 5th street. He would lead about four or five residents down to a restaurant called the “Chile Parlor.”

One resident told me: We would sit there and eat lunch together. When we were done he would walk us down to Travers, for ice-cream”.

She also told me when he was in the singing group. They had a song they sang, about the states. When they sang about Iowa, he would loudly, sing: Iowa Iowa where the tall corn grows!) and everyone would laugh, during singing practice.

He would always tell you what was going on in our home, gossip style.

Did you hear: Elle (our activity director) switched positions?

What do you think, of men dressing up in women’s clothing? 

Did you know, so and so cheats on his wife? 

Are you still married, do you have children?

He enjoyed all kinds of music, and ordered talking books, all the time. He had a stack of 6 to 7 blue cartridges waiting to be played on his counter. He was always pulled right up to his player, with his chin touching his talking book player which sat on his counter, blaring to smut. He even would adjust the speed of the player to slow motion. We could hear his player down the hallway.

I have worked for the home, sixteen years now. I work with a lot of the same residents, and staff. When a resident dies. I feel as though the home is picked up off the ground, and just THROWN down. The view out our windows of the green trees, flowers, and sun are cropped. The sun from the east side don’t shine in as bright as it once did. The hallway is colder, and un-level, making my rounds harder on my feet.

A few nights before Karl passed away. He shared with me: I have enjoyed my life here, Shelley. I’ve had a lot of laughs, and met some really good people.

Tiny, Mighty, And Picture Incher

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Tiny room, tiny radio, tiny television, and MIGHTY spirit!

I read an article on the Daily Post, encouraging us to post from our phones or tablets. (Which is well worth the read). I’m at work this evening. My showers are done, my medicines are passed, and one resident is walking the halls, and another resident is in the snack room. I have a bit of time on my hands.

Here is a tiny story.

If you follow me, you know I work in a Supportive Living Facility as a Nursing assistant. I work with the Blind, and talk about my residents on occasion. If you’re new to my blog, and have a minute, read here to close in on the buzz.

Friday, our nursing supervisor talked to Emmett about how she needed to cut back on the amount of soda she’s been drinking. She told her to only drink soda on the holidays.

Emmet, agreed and went back to her room.

A few hours later she came out of her room, passed the nurses office, and into the snack room where the soda machine sits.

She puts her first quarter into the machine, and says:

This is for Veterans Day, second quarter, this is for Thanksgiving, and her third quarter this ones for Christmas!

Nosy

Some years back, we had a male resident at my present job. He was visually impaired, stood about 5 ‘1, thin, and buzzed light brown hair. His room had nothing on the walls, dresser, or bed. He hung around one lady at the home. Once a week a man my age now, would take him out to eat. When doing my med pass one night I walked by his door. I saw him sitting on the edge of his bed. I backed up a few steps and stood there looking in. One because he was as still as someone with a Bee on the end of their nose and secondly because I’m nosy.

He started to pray

“Thank you for the trees and leaves, thank you for the birds that sing, thank you for the rain and the sunshine, the cold days and the hot days, thank you for the good days and the bad days”

Every night Until the day he left I joined him in prayer at his door. This may have not been the right thing to do but because what I felt inside his prayer it felt right. This past few weeks have been rough.

Ten years and this prayer has come back to me and many other times as well. I can’t help but think all those years he spent praying, was for me.
To bring me back to what counts in life. I’m so thankful for that time I was on the outside looking in.