Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May 20. Day 140. Stop and smell the flowers

On the surface it was about the pyjama pants. They were pretty light cotton PJs in purple and pink with a satin purple ribbon at the waist. The lady, aged 88, clutched them and sobbed. I was killing time waiting to visit someone else in the rehabilitation centre but she was alone and sad so I figured I should hold out a hand of friendship.
"Are you ok?" I ventured.
The words came tumbling out. She was sad that the PJs had been (in her words) tossed on the bed without thought. So I picked them up and folded them for her and she told me she really liked those jarmies but she couldn't wear them right now because of the medical equipment she was hooked up to. She had to wear tracksuit pants that were thick and hot and uncomfortable. She had also been seated so she couldn't reach the phone, or her tissues or the vomit bag. She was fed up, she hated what she had become and she prayed every night that God would take her to heaven.
But, she said, I was a lovely person, she had a son she adored and at home - if only she was allowed home - people were nice.
What people don't understand, she said, was that she was old and tired and she hated all the rushing. Dye your hair so you look like you are in your 50s and everyone forgets to treat you like you are nearly 90, People were running around like blue arsed flies (her words) and it was all too fast. She hated the pace of modern life, she hated the way people treated her and she wanted out.
So we just sat for a bit. It may have helped. It is well possible that it didn't but all she wanted right then was time (and the objects on the table I was able to move so she could reach them again).
Then I had to go. "Thank-you dear", she said. "Take time to stop and smell the flowers because one day you will be old like me." And so today I did, just for her.

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