Dad, Told Me Never Backwards, Only Forwards

I moved into a new position at work, You’re looking at the new Activity Director of the home where I work. I plan events for the residents. Bowling, fishing, picnicking, parties, and games. I enjoy my new job. To be honest, the work has not been all fun and games. My biggest challenge has been planning  the calendar for each month. I plan all the activities and make sure none of the events run into one another. I have trouble with focusing. This requires me to triple check my work. I also have others look over my work, and they have been happy to help me out.

The job is challenging, and I’ve wanted to throw in the towel, because of my lack of organization skills, and focussing.

Today: Was Special Olympics Fun Day with friends. The organization, paired up the residents, with a one on one friend (volunteer). They took them to games, karaoke, lunch, and a concert featuring: Elvis. I got to sit, and write.

The other night I was able to go out with Freebird. We went to dinner and caught up a bit, then we went to see the movie IT! The movie was alright, not bad, but not great. The eerie part of the movie to me, was the back story of the children who were not only victims of the clown, but abuse in their day-to-day life. They were not just abused by their parents, but bullies too.

King was no stranger to the hell that went on in the 1980s!

I  have, started reading again but not your blogs. I’ve been reading about Jeffrey Dahmer, Ottis Toole  and Henry Lee Lucas. Ottis Toole killed Adam Walsh. Henry Lee Lucas was his partner and “alleged” lover. These men set the sail “as a mid-1980s panic over stranger abductions, one out of petrified kids and Paranoid parents. Kids used to be able to go out and organize a kickball game, and now all playdates and the social lives of children are arranged and controlled by parents.” This statement hit home with me. I put my child on a short leash. He’s not stayed all night with anyone, but I have let him walk next door and play with a friend, he also walks to school with him, and his dad every once in a while.

The movie IT in my opinion is about fear. The chains fear can have on you.

Fear: will stunt the growth of a child, a new career for an adult, help for a drug user, marriage, and divorce. The list can go on and on, you get my point, don’t you?

The other day on my drive to work a squirrel darted out in front me he or she was giving it all he or she had.

Focused on what was in front of him or her and front legs and back legs hitting nothing but pavement. I couldn’t help to be envious of the drive this animal had to get across the street the way it did!

 

The Year Before Forty, And The Comments People Are Making, And Have Made To Me.

a friend of mine asked me “Shelley are YOU going to the class reunion?”I had went the last few years mind you, and none of my friends, whom I  went to school with, and still hang out with now, attended the reunion. There wasn’t a lot of people who showed up at the reunions in the past.

I said: no I think I will pass this year.

Shelley you should go”

Why, no one went last year?

“Shelley this is the year people start dying, and Shit”

Gabe

The other morning, when dropping him off at school. He makes his way to the middle, where he is sitting next to me. I’m thinking he’s going to give me a goodbye KISS…

“Mom, when you were a kid did they have televisions in the olden days”

Um Gabe, yes, it was not that long ago. Get out of my car!

A Friend

Her daughter, told us she would take our picture together. We give her the camera, scoot in close, and smile. She just stands there giving us a-deer-in-the-headlights, look.

Her Mom says: “what are you waiting for?”

“You guys need to do duck lips or do something in the photo?”

We purse our lips, she shakes her head, we give each other bunny ears, she shakes her head, we stick our tongues out, She shakes her head, we grab one another laughing uncontrollably, and she hands the camera back to her Mom, and says:never mind!”

Coffee with a neighbor

SHE got on the subject of talking about Sex. I joined in on the conversation, and was agreeing with her about certain techniques, and she says: “Oh, so you and your husband still do it?”

Yea, we do

“that so Awesome”

Umm we have only been together nine years were freaking newly weds for crying-out-loud

Last Night At Work

I made a wise-crack to the cook. I’m sorry I cannot remember what I said (It’s a part of my old age.) He told me what you said you reminded me of “Steve Marten on Saturday Night Live he always used to say that same phrase.”

“Do you remember?”

No, what year are you talking about?

“In the seventies”

No, I wasn’t born until 1977!

“Oh really, how old are you”

I’m forty, 

“Really, when did you turn forty?

Monday, I turned forty, three days ago!

 

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.

Journal, Entry

Yesterday, was my first day off I had since last Monday. I told you last time we had gone in to overtime at work, because we WERE short-staffed. We have two residents who are on hospice care. The boss wants two people on duty at all times, because both of the residents are total care.

When Steve (my husband) came home from work, he fired up the grill. I wrapped up potatoes in foil, to have him put on the grill. I finished doing what was left of the dishes, and HE sucked up the leaves, with the blower!

The sun was shining, kids were laughing, playing, and I could smell freshly cut grass.

I decided to walk over to the school, and pick Gabe up from after school care. He was on the swing by himself, and I quietly stood there watching him swing. One of his friends came up to him holding a soccer ball. He asked Gabe if he would play soccer with him? Gabe, said no. I then spoke up from behind him, and said: why not? He said “Mom where did you come from?”

We gathered up his backpack, jacket, and signed him out. He told me he was on green (which is good.) Then told me there was a note in his bag. I un-zipped the bag as we walked home, and he helped me pull the note out of his blue folder. The note read “Is Yelling A Daily Event At Your House” I stopped, and looked at Gabe after I finished reading the invite to the school from a speaker who is going to share “effective techniques of getting through to our kids without yelling.”

I asked him if he thought we needed the class? “he said: “well Dad does.”

I shoved the paper back into the bag. I could see my husband working in the yard, as Gabe, and I got closer to the driveway.

Gabe, crossed the street, and I paused as I watched him walk up into the yard.I couldn’t help but ask God, how did I ever get here? what in the world, did I do deserve this moment?

The sun shining, Gabe laughing, and Steve in the front yard, working, and waiting for us to come home. If I happen not to make it through the day Lord, thank you, thank you, for another beautiful day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Room 134 And Voices On The Radio

I’m working overtime today. Which is nothing new. I was in a funk when I first clocked in.

First, because today is my day off.

2.) This is my eighth straight day in a row.

3.) Once again, I was offered day shift. After sixteen years of working evenings, I had to decline. The way my husband, and I have our schedules work with raising Gabe. My husband works mornings, and I work evenings.

Working evenings, here at the home never ceases to amaze me. I’m always reminded, why I chose this shift.

My schedule was not my only reason.

1.) I wrote of LAUGHTER in my post: She didn’t leave me hanging

2.) I wrote of FAITH in my post: Nosy

3.) I wrote of  LOVE inside both of those post.

Back-paddle to earlier: I’m in a funk making my rounds around the building. One big circle. Karl is in his doorway

Ms. Lady Ms. lady

Could you come over here and help me write a letter? 

Sure I can.

Karl, has developed Dementia these last few years. I’m sure most of his memories are real. I’m just not sure of the timeline. As in, I’m not sure if these people are still living. I will do my best to find out, and I will mail the letter.

In the meantime I want to share with you good people.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin

When I first came to Fairfield many years ago. I heard the voices of you and your wife. Her name is Jen. I heard her voice first. I hope you two are enjoying your retirement? My name is Karl Graff. I would like to tell you about the circus we went to a long time ago. I’m trying to find somebody who knows how I can get the Guidepost on cassette. I forgot the gentlemen who took your place? I always enjoyed your voices on the radio they sounded so good!

Your friend, Karl Graff

 

 

For Some, The Bell Still Rings

A few days before Christmas. A few of the residents asked the CNA if she’d be working on Christmas? She cleared her throat, caught her breath, as she guided five (Visually Impaired) residents into the dining room for supper.

“Yes” she hollered!

A few of the residents, cheered. They told her about gifts their family sent them in the mail. They asked her if she would stop by their rooms, and sit with them so they could open their gifts with her? She said she would be glad too, she only had forty other residents to take care of!

She worked straight through the morning without sitting down to drink her traditional spiked Egg Nog!

Finally, lunch was over, and her choirs were done. She headed down to Karl’s room. She called him Karl because he reminded her of the main character off of the movie  Sling Blade. He  was about three inches shorter, hunched  over, and sounded like him when he talked.

She went into his apartment, and he asked her to grab his box on the bed? She put the box on his lap, and sat directly across from him. The box was taped up on all four sides. He worked hard trying to the pull the tape off himself, for sometime. She didn’t offer to help him right away, she could tell by the smile on his face he was enjoying the fact he had something to open.

He turned the box to each corner to see if one side was easier than the other. He stopped a few times, bringing the box up to his ear and giving the box a shake. She asked him if he would like help? He replied in his raspy, nasally, loud voice, yes! 

She opened one side of the box, and gave it back to him. He ripped the other side open himself, and quickly tossed the wadded paper out that had been put in for padding. The aid could see there was individual presents inside for him to un-wrap.

Karl, was so excited about getting his box open. He pulled his first present out of the box like a rocket-ship over his head, then waved the gift with victory!

look what I got, look what I got, look what got!

Tell Me Something Good

I have been down in the dumps. Instead of posting “what’s on my mind” on social media I would rather post here in front of most who don’t know me. I’m searching for words or a post of encouragement. To flip my flat as a pancake spirit over. Feel free to leave an uplifting comment, link to post, joke, or words of wisdom. I’m looking for anything to lighten my mood.

Day Three Of Quote Challenge

I was nominated by Dru, to post three quotes for three days. This was a challenge. I thank you for thinking of me!

147491-consider-the-source-quotes

I have learned over the last six years, how to “consider the source” this means you can’t take peoples snide remarks, and carry them around all day on the tip of your nose. I work a seven-day stretch, every other week. I will get Monday and Tuesday off, after the week-end, of my seven days. A lady, whom is a resident will say: “Shelley is this the week you get your two days off” I will tell her yes, and she will say: “you’re the only aid they give two days in a row off too, I asked the other aids why they don’t have two days in a row off and they said they’re not as special as you” she will not let me live the long vacation down. When the boss first started scheduling me with this huge vacation. I would explain, to my resident, why they had to schedule us the way they did. She would still, let me know, she didn’t think, the schedule was fair. She has been moved, three times from tables in the dining-room because she has bashed residents for personal issues about themselves. She told a resident the other day she had no business going to church, because she cussed and has a serious problem with over-eating. I know something has happened in this womans life. This by no means excuses her. I realize, it’s her, and not us!

 

184510

I clean for a woman, she is my boss at my job. Her daughter has a frame of this verse on her dresser. I think the verse is definitely, frame worthy. I think of certain issues going on in my life with my family, and my husbands ex-wife. I wish I could find my peace with both situations. I would love to go into detail and hear what advise you would have to give me but I can’t expose other people on my blog.

bltn

I see why they call this a challenge. This has not been easy for me and I did not want to finish the job. I persevered!

Feel free to take part in this challenge if you wish!

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.

10 Minutes Ago

I gave Emmet her medicine. She asked me to look up a song by Skeeter Davis. The name of the song is called “Oh The Loneliness Goes On And On And On”. I could not find it anywhere for her on YouTube? I asked if she knew the album it could be on, she shook her had no. She asked me to name the albums that did come up. I named the albums plus a few of the songs on each one, one of the songs were “Tell Laura I Love Her”. She asked me to play that and then play “The Answer Song”.

Me: What is “The Answer Song”

Emmet: “Tell Tommy I Love Him”

If you haven’t listened to them, you should, sometime.

I found the song and played it for her. My curiosity got the best of me as I sat and watched her sing the song word for word, her neck tilted, and her hands on her heart.

Me: Emmett, do you think of anyone in-particular when you listen to all these love songs by Skeeter Davis?

Her: Yes, well I used to anyway. We broke up a while back ago. You remember Archy Bunker?

Me: Yes Emmett, I do. What happened with you two?

Emmett: I can’t talk about it, it wouldn’t be right.

Me: Ooo, come on

Emmett: Well on our “last Date” (which by the way is another song by Skeeter Davis) Archy, he passed gas and the Odor was too much…