Friday, June 08, 2007

My Job

**(I originally wrote this about 2 months ago)**

This past couple of weeks at my job have been really heart wrenching. Last night I sat at the feet of a lonely 96 year old man whom I've grown to love. He has been there almost as long as I have and his wife died in our facility a couple of years ago. I had to go into his room to ask him a question and he said something to the effect of "won't you please stay and talk to me?". So I sat on the floor, at his feet, for almost 45 minutes and talked into his good ear. We talked about his family who all live out of town/state. We talked about The Andy Griffith show, his fading memory, and finally about death.

As far as I know, he is not a Christian. He has always said that he just "wants to go on forever". He is very proud of his age. I tried talking to him a little bit about how he could "go on forever". He just looked at me like, I know what you're getting at and I'm not ready to make that kind of decision.

He ended up asking me about the boys and I told him that I would be bringing them in to visit in a week and 1/2. He said that maybe he'll be there and crossed his fingers. This man is one of the most intelligent and interesting people I have ever met. He sits in a nursing home day after day with failing eyesight with few visitors and little interaction with others. He still gets the Cleveland Plain Dealer and reads it every day. I feel blessed that I had some time to spend with him last night.

**Written today**

About two weeks ago I went in to see Lawrence. His health had not been good. His memory was fading in and out. I went to tell him "Happy Birthday". He was 97 years old. He cherished his birthdays and was always proud to tell you how old he was. He was always somewhat disappointed because we have another lady who will be 104 this year and he never could catch up with her.
I told him Happy Birthday, hugged him, and told him that I loved him. It was about 9 pm and I don't think that any of his family came to see him that day or even called to wish him a Happy Birthday. I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said talk to the Dr. and see if there is anything he can do for this predicament I'm in (or something like that). He knew that he was having problems with his memory and that bothered him. He was always a well spoken man and teaching us new words in English and some in German. When I went to leave him that night, I told him that I would see him Thursday and he said "sooner". I said "maybe sooner". I left his room in tears, upset that his family had not come to see him on his 97th birthday. He passed away early Thursday morning before I got to work. I loved that man.


Crys said...

Wow! That gave me goosebumps all over! That must be sooo hard to work at a nursing home and get attached to the patients and then feel such a loss when they pass.....I don't think I could do that! He was very blessed to have you visiting him and talking to him. I am sooo sorry for your loss!

Jamie said...

I'm so sorry. I hate that his family just sort of forgot about him, how sad. How great of you though , to not. You probably gave him more than you'll ever know. I couldn't imagine how hard your job must be, getting close to these people in the later stages of their lives and then losing them. It takes a special person to be able to do that and not stop getting close to them. You will be blessed for your hard work and the pain you have to go through. Feel good for giving him joy, friendship and love in those last weeks. I'm sure he appreciated it.

Mom2samandsawyer said...

Oh my goodness. Boy this hit me hard. Probably because I have had a loss recently where I wished that people who were paid to be there for my grandma loved her like you did him. I want you to know that what you did was above and beyond your job and I am so impressed and proud of you. The magical thing is that you did what Jesus would do. We read it and say it all the time but you did it. You told him how he could live forever...good for you!!
Did you learn these skills in that class we had together that I failed? Just tell me if you did. I knew I should have gone to that class more and not skipped all the time. Maybe I would be a better person to the elderly if only I had gone. I asked you to take notes for don't still have them do you??? Msybe I could brush up now.

Good job..I knew there was reason I was keeping you around. You can take care of me when I am old.

Amanda said...

You are an amazing woman Lura.

Char said...

I agree with all of these ladies!!! You are amazing to be able to do what you do.
I'm glad you were there for him and I know you gave him some happiness before his passing!