As I drove away from my visit today I couldn’t help but feel the sadness and emptiness of the building’s contents weighing on my heart. Three things happened that touched me, maybe because the weight of all three were greater then one, or realizing that I too may be in a place like this one far away day.
The children and I visited my 91 year old grandmother today in her care facility. She still has a brilliant mind and a witty sense of humor. Our visit was short and sweet as usual. We brought her a little(big) blue beaded necklace that she can slip over her head easily, since she loves to dress-up still, and she gave the children from her reserve stock in her hutch-like dresser her favorite bbq chips.
The first feeling came from no matter the amount of noise my children made running down the pastel and beige walled hallways with plastic flowers, chasing each-other to the elevator, pushing the hand sanitizer buttons and arguing whom was going to press the up button first; the seniors always smiled and laughed as we passed their little one room homes in a row. They would say, “owe” and “awe” with their glassy eyes and shaky hands as if the clatter from my children was their favorite remembered song from a long ago distant memory. I would smile back politely thinking, ‘sorry we’re so loud’.
The second little heart moment happen as the children chatted and clambered down the hall to leave through the security front doors; a little old lady wearing a emerald color sweater the same shade as her eyes, sat on a hall-way chair and motioned the children to her. She reached in her pocket and brought out a little napkin with the exact amount of candy pieces for the children. They smiled and all said thank-you in unison. She smiled back and then looked at me with tears welling up in her emerald eyes. I touched her shoulder and rubbed her back saying thank-you, but she gripped my arm as if not to go.
The third feeling that tipped my scale and touched me was as we walked out to our vehicle, right when the rain turned from a drizzle to a pour, I noticed a little old lady with her walker. She was walking slowly, stopping and starting again strangely in the parking lot. She had a code strip around her neck like my grandma which gives her access to come and go, but I still ran out to her and asked, “Did you need some help back in?” She laughed at me and said, “Nothing is better than walking in the rain. Oh no, I’m fine!” I sighed, and agreed with her. I also couldn’t bare watching her out there and wondering if she’d go back in, so I reminded her that dinner was to be served soon. She slowly walked back in, with one more stop in the rain.
I drove away thinking about how much I love the sound of my children and that one day their voices will be music to my ears, especially if I’m left alone in a senior facility with no visitors and the only comfort I receive is the feel of the rain touching my back. If I didn’t see all this today, I’m not sure I’d really know this. We’ll be back soon making noise.