Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Snowy Tuesday

More snowfall today. I visit my one nursing home patient. She is bedridden, dependent on nursing aides for simple activities, like turning herself in bed. Her mind, however, is razor sharp; she recounts to me the memorable snowstorm of '47 when the city came to a standstill. She was in junior high school at the time and remembers that 27.5 inches of snow fell then.

I look around her room and note the details. A monthly calendar with photos of her family is tacked above her bed. A profusion of small stuffed animals are gathered on a straight-backed chair in the corner of the room. Amongst these items, stacks of austere white linens, a box of disposable gloves add a discordant note to the hominess of her personal belongings.

She is propped up on her bed, her speech difficult at times to understand due to past strokes. Her eyes gleam when we touch upon events of her past life, veering away from the obligatory questions on her health that I dutifully ask on my monthly visits. She has lived in this city for all of her life but remark that others older than her have seen the "horse and buggy" days.

I part from her with some reluctance, sensing her desire for company often not satiated. I wonder, when I visit her next month, if we might not share some tea.

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