Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Unexpected Admiration

Back to my blog home page:

Happy is a WWII vet, long, lean, with usually sad eyes and a gray five-o'clock shadow. He gets around with one foot pushing his high back reclining wheelchair and makes his way from one end of the building to the other several times a day.

He stops in regularly to find out when "he is going to walk again."

I wish I had known him after his stroke; maybe we could have done some good neuromuscular re-education (layman-speak: making his muscle tone normal to retrain movement after a person loses movement in their limbs).

Now, it's been too long;  this lovely place did not have a therapy team in place when he moved here years ago. His knees have contractures, and he can't straighten his legs.

I am in the building late tonight, working on evening ADLs (activities of daily living) which include the residents' regimens for getting ready for bed after dinner.

Happy wheels down Station One and holds out his hand. I take his hand and lean down. He is hard of hearing. He looks up and starts to speak.

Out comes his sweet, soft Southern accent, foreign on the northern California coastline:

"Did you ever see someone
and get a passion for 'em?
There's no law against that,
is there?"

Then, I realize he means me. And I smile back at him,

"No, Happy, there's no law against that."

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