The people we care for . . . .
So, I have a 95 year old neighbor that i help out a lot. I often want to write about our interactions, but don't get around to it. I also don't even get around to my own page. So, here i come again . . .
WE USED TO WEAR DRESSES . . .
A LONG TIME AGO.
WE USED TO TALK
AND NOT LISTEN TO
She is dying to keep her memories.
as she tells me stories
(most on repeat)
and her life lessons,
she clings to her nostalgia;
even when the thought is
the most inconsequential
. . . she will have a tear in the corner
of her left eye.
i’d love to write more about her
and get more stories to record,
but she doesn’t give a shit about that;
she has no view outside this neighborhood
and she’s fine without the outreach.
i listen to her
and she tells me to let her know
when she’s talked to much,
but i can’t help and just watch
how happy she is to have someone
some call listening a lost art,
some people say that people don’t know
how to properly interject.
know when to shut the fuck up.
Francis is 95 now and getting worse;
the limps are looking bad,
the memory is fading and
she says i’m going to heaven all the time
and has no idea what my thoughts are on that,
she thinks the world is a much worse place
than what she grew up with;
her hearing is awful,
and i don’t care to tell her my thoughts.
those are not what matters.
i give to her all that i can
because i care.
my opinions on life and reality
would be of no comfort or use to her
when they conflict with hers.
i understand what she has to say
even though i may think otherwise,
i have patience
when she moves slow,
i have patience
when she yells my name in the hallway
and i’m talking to a customer,
i freak out when i hear an unfamiliar repeating noise in the building
and think it’s her calling out
(blu tooth speaker dying) . . .
there is no ultimate reward for my care.
there is no ultimate reward for my love.
i do it because that’s what’s right.
i do it because we are all sharing the same reality
with differed opinions
and, even though they may conflict,
there is a step after the difference
where we will have to work together
or choose to let it go.
there are variables in that next step
that tell us whether we should speak
or fall silent and listen.
we can be beautiful when we are wrong
and passionate when misinformed,
we can be ugly when we are right
and vindictive when knowledge is obtained
with bad social ethics
and poor moral practice.
while we are often better than what we were taught,
there is a transition period between
those who teach us right and wrong,
and who we become.