Saturday, December 8, 2007

LOVE, Like A Fine Wine...

...only gets better, with age.
My first day of clinicals was nothing like I thought it would be. I didn't expect to fall in love with some of the residents.

At breakfast, I helped at a table with four, wonderful women. These women have a hard time swallowing and/or feeding themselves, so I sat with them the entire time. Only two of them spoke and even then, it was very difficult to understand them. All I could think, was how much wisdom was in these women's eyes and how hard it must be for their families to leave them in a facility.

When lunch time rolled around, I made sure to run to MY table, so that I could sit with the same fantastic bunch. We had to wait a few minutes for lunch to be served, so I sat talking with them.

One of the women, Anna*, just wanted me to hold her hand. She didn't speak, but would grab my hand and look into my face, as though she wanted to tell me something, but it wouldn't come out.

Another woman, Betty*, kept trying to talk, but it was very difficult to understand what she was saying. I'm sure she wasn't talking TO me, but she told me that she loved me very much. It brought tears to my eyes, so I told her that I loved her, too.

One of the other women, Carla*, had her husband there, to have lunch with her. Carla does not speak, and only stares into space. Once in a while, I would catch her looking toward me, and it was like she was staring into my soul. For a moment, I would swear that she was there. Then, only a moment later, her eyes would glaze over and she would be gone.

I watched her husband throughout the meal. He very carefully fed her and wiped her mouth. He talked to her and whispered in her ear. Carla never once gave him any response, but still, he tried. It was heart-warming to see how very tender he was with her.

In the world that we live in, it is unusual to see that kind of love. The kind of love that spans decades and lasts for generations. The kind of love that needs no words. The kind of love, that truly is eternal.

*Names have been changed, to protect the innocent. :)


Steph said...

Yes, I find your life interesting. This entry is a perfect example. I hope that my husband and I have that kind of love. It is so rare in this day and age.

Anonymous said...

That brought tears to my eyes cuz it makes me wonder where I'll be when I'm that old.

Pam said...

tears! instant tears when I read this! You are so loving and caring to take care of these women and to share their pain, love, etc. I hope when I need caring for, I am lucky enough to have someone like you. Eternal love is very rare these days- you are so right about that!

Candygirlflies said...

So wonderful, Leann. Wonderful.

I saw the same kind of love between my own grandparents, when my grandfather became too ill to be at home, and was placed in a care facility. My grandmother, who was an "old-school" nurse, used to drive to the hospital three times a day to feed and care for him. Watching them interact with one another during this time was an amazing experience.

One afternoon, my grandmother left the room to run an errand, leaving me with my grandfather. As soon as she had left, he turned to me and quietly asked, "So... How's The Boss?" He was referring to Grandma! She had been working SO hard to care for him, and he wanted to make absolutely sure that she was still caring for herself, too.

I miss them both terribly.

Thank you for your posts!! They are so inspiring.

lots of love, CGF xo

Andrea said...

That was beautiful, Leeann. I got chills reading that post. You have been a blessing to those women.

Sniz said...

That is the sweetest brought tears to my eyes!