"At Gerties"

A little retirement town has the million dollar compounds and the trailer parks on the outskirts of town. There are also various low-income complexes run by the Lions Club and the Shriners. The Legion has one or two also. These places are small and servicable and alot of the people living in them get home support or home nursing or both. It is possible a person could start their shift in one of those places and work almost the entire day without driving anywhere.

I had a new name on my list a few years back, a gentleman who was never home when I got there. A note was tacked to the door: "At Gerties, no worries." It was probably 2 months before I connected with him and found him to be a very chivalrous gent. He was profoundly deaf and his eyesight was going. He had congestive heart failure and wore compression stockings to keep his gouty feet under control. My little assignment was to remove those stockings around 10:30 pm.
Yes, we get paid for this!

Benny was the name he went by. Benny was a British Airforce man all spit and polish. He had been widowed for around ten years. One of the nights he was home I went to get him a drink of water and opened cupboard after cupboard to find empty bottles of Crown Royale Whiskey. I gently hinted he might want to get someone in to recycle. It got so that he was unpredictable and my list of those evenings took me the entire length and breadth of our area. I would call him to see if he was there. If not, I would carry on. When he was home he would say things like: "My stockings are off but I would dearly love for you to come by."

I asked about him to another woman.
"He's never home", I ventured.

"Ah don't you know Gertie?"

"uhm, no. Does she live in the same complex?"

"No! Gertie! From the day program!"

I do not do the day program so this meant nothing to me. It went in the storehouse of my brain somewhere around the ZZZZ888Z part.

Around Christmastime I was down in the shopping district of our small town.
The streets were festooned with lights and painted windows with merry scenes beckoned passersby. Along the short little one-way street, about 1 mile from home strode Ben.
I honked at him but he did not hear me. He wore a look of utter bliss. Whatever it was he was doing was clearly agreeing with him.

Two months later I had a new medication client. She lived in a rather more fashionable area of town and had serious memory trouble. She was very pleasant and most acceptant of help but quite conscious of her diminishment. A little budgie chirped from the counter where his cage sat on a towel. (gratuitous link here: I LOVE this site)

We sat at her dining room table and she told me about her friend.
He had always discreetly gotten up from the table right after dessert and moved to the recliner to watch the tellie. This was her signal to get the dishes done. Old-school I guess.
The bird was his. He came with the bird by cab a few times a week for supper.
Around Christmas week she had been sad over her inability to shop.
"Don't you worry my girl."
He had gone out and bought presents for everyone on the list. They had all been delivered to her door by cab neatly wrapped and then he had arrived separatly with the bird.
They finished dessert and she was up to the sink when she heard a *thunk*
She said she had stood over him saying: :"I'll get the neighbour you just stay there"
She told me the thing that had bothered her was his eyes were unblinking.
The very sensible neighbour had the ambulance there and her in another room drinking a cuppa while they removed Bens' body.

I kinda like this story alot.
He died on one of the happiest days of his life after a mission of kindness for a woman he cared deeply about. She could not remember his name but she took great care of his budgie which now lives in the extended care wing she happily stays in.

Gentle Ben.
You were so kind.
God blessed Gertie with you and me with you both.

"True blessedness consists in a good life and a happy death"
(Athenian statesman and poet, 630-560bc)


100 words per minute (with the gold pin to prove it)

This is a story about a very proud woman.

Born in Canada to immigrants from the British Isles. Her mother was from the beautiful Lake District near Coniston in England and her father was from just outside Glasgow. She was never anything in her own mind but 100% Scottish. She lived with her husband of a half-century in a beautiful oceanfront home after their retirement to the Island.

The entire upstairs of their home was one huge bedroom. It overlooked the most famous and beautiful beach in this area with a view that was breath-taking no matter how many times you saw it. There was a library area in this room, a reading nook complete with a pale peach leather couch, an ensuite with a very large and deep jacuzzi tub and a separate shower. The closet area was bigger than most peoples bedrooms. There was still enough room for a HUGE largescreen television which she only allowed on to watch her favourite show:
"Keeping Up Appearances."

Those big closets of theirs were 5% the husbands clothes and 95% hers.
Stuffed full of fashionable outfits and shoes
all in boxes neatly stacked near the shelves where the matching purses were housed. Inside the handbags were change purses in the same shade.. Each box had a description neatly written in her beautiful and distinctive script in the same place as all the others. She wore no make-up but very light lipstick, and the blonde oak dresser had two full drawers where dozens of Revlon, Max Factor and Mary Kay lipsticks awaited her whim.

Her bathroom was mirrors and tile. The counter had Chanel #5 powder alongside the perfume and cologne.
She was surrounded by all the pleasures and comforts money could buy. Her chief comfort was her dedicated and selfless husband who considered it his duty to attend to very every need. It was a high calling he felt. Each night she insisted on taking a long hot bath and her husband would lift her out of it and into her bed. She refused to use a commode. She would not use a walker. She would not even consider an incontinent system. Those topics were absolutely forbidden. The word "death" was also on that list. "Cancer" was the other word not allowed.

She held court in her
king-size bed and the view was out to sea. Her visitors could sit in the wingback chairs and watch the resort stayers frolicking on the mile-long white sands.

This Lady was very sick, in fact she was palliative. She had refused a colostomy because of her distaste for the "bag". This decision resulted in her being dramatically affected in the frequency and proximity department. She could not go anywhere. She had a solution. She bought a motorhome to travel in. You could see her all around the area, a gaunt figure gripping the steering wheel. It was a little scary for those of us who knew how ill she was.

Her husband did everything for her. She sent him out for pudding and boost and ice-cream: whatever her tastebuds fancied in the moment. He would get so very hopeful and bring home 5 of whatever she asked for. Unfortunatly she could no longer eat. She had just finished a round of radiation treatments. The desire for food had left her. She was more than disinterested in food. She could not even force herself to eat. Radiation can be bad that way. She wore her wedding rings on her third finger now and even then they slipped and slid. Her once tight watch hung limply at her wrist. She continued to wear it because she said it was the first really frivilously expensive piece of jewellery her husband had bought for her. It had an moscaic face and diamonds around the dial. The strap was 18ct gold. Even in her worst moments, the jewels remained on.

It had been almost 18 months since the Doctors had told her husband her death was imminent.
Since then, she had spent tens of thousands of dollars in experimental treatments.
Possibly more than that.
She also volunteered to take experimental chemotherapy.
It was very difficult to watch her go so forcefully ahead with these methods when the odds were overwhelmingly against her. Her husband had a heart attack in the middle of her treatment. The stress was piling up and up and up.

It was the Hospital Social Worker who finally let the family know that Community Care was available. Noone had offered anything before. Not that she would have accepted it. She was too proud. After her husband's heart attack and recovery she knew she had to let someone help, or she would lose him.

The assignment was overnight care. The idea was that her husband could take a sleeping pill and get a good nights rest. She then could sleep downstairs in a hospital bed with the healthcare worker sitting near for any needs she might have. A butterfly injection site was put in for Haldol

Now Haldol is a very good drug. It is used to counteract mania and to combat the side-effects from cancer drugs. This woman had not slept a full night for months. The Haldol would help with that.
But the mind is a powerful thing and this woman had a very strong mind and will.
Night #1 she threw the worker out.
Night #2 she asked the new worker to get her something from upstairs, and took her carkeys and tried to escape in her motorhome. The only reason she didn't was her lack of strength.
She got to the Motorhome. She got the door open. She could not get herself up high enough to get in, thank God.
Night #3 the worker well-orientated and on-guard was a little harder to fool so she pretended to sleep. Around 4am she crawled over her bedrail, and down the hall and up the stairs on her hands and knees to her bed. She couldnt get into the bed. Her husband fell over her at 6am when he got up to the bathroom. Clearly, we had it wrong.

The new improved plan was to give the workers the assignment to TALK to her all night. This worked like a charm. The Haldol was discontinued due to her screaming each time she was injected (it is almost painless) and the Workers were culled down to 4 hardy souls who got on well with her.

The woman on the hill could talk and talk the entire shift without ever repeating herself.
The story she told each and every worker was not about her adored husband. Not about her 4 kids of whom she was very protective and proud even if they DID drive her to distraction. No it was about her secretarial training. She had wanted to be a Doctor. Her mother had told her that she could do anything she wanted but if she chose University, it meant absolutely no dating. She was already in love, life-long consuming love with her future husband so she chose secretarial school and business college which came without the dating clause.

She was not very challenged by it, so she concentrated on proficiency. She attained a typing speed of 100 words per minute on a manual typewriter and was the very first recipient of a gold pin to honour this achievement. Every worker and every Nurse and even the Doctors had seen this pin which she brought out at the climax of the story to proudly display. Stories about her career at the University stories about her prestigious job as the Secretary to the Chief of Police, stories about her work.... it was very important to her that these women and men knew she had DONE something. She had MATTERED.

Each morning the Workers would leave looking worn out. They cried and sobbed and wombled their way to their cars. The woman got the nicname *Boadacia*.

The carebook was full of entries like this:
"family present. tension in the home."

The small team of Nurses and caregivers were relieved when the husband hired private Nurses to care for her full-time, and the Healthcare team only had to go in 3 nights a week.
When she died, each caregiver said it was the hardest assignment they had ever had.
The funeral was packed.
The Nurses and Care-givers sat in the pew behind us.

The woman on the hill was my Mother.
It has been 7 years now.
Nothing can ever take your mother away from you.
Not unless you want it to.

I miss you Mom.
You were unique.
Anything in me of great spirit and compassion is from you.
For all that you gave to me and all the blessings I did not see at the time, thank you.
You were an indomitable personality.
Heaven is much spicier with you up there, I know it!


A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us; when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.--Washington Irving

"Are you married?"

Most Nurses and Healthcare professionals out in the field hear that query many times from many people. There is no right answer, not in these uncertain times with skewered social mores (Pronunciation Key (môrz, -z, mr-) --Dad and I just argued about the correct way to articulate that. Did you know Dictionary.com has audio files to educate us all in the proper enunciation of our language? Should you attempt to hear their files you will get this message:
Audio pronunciations are available only to Dictionary.com Premium members.
Yet another company that wants my information. No thanks.

Now about marriage: I get proposals decent and indecent a few times a year.
Mostly indecent in my way of thinking. It is a strange thing how people transfer their feelings.
One moment you are their care-giver and the next you are their future wife. Or mistress.
Or something inbetween.

I wear a wedding ring every work day.
When I come home after my shift I put my uniform in the hamper and the ring in a little trinket box. I might as well NOT bother. The only ring that works is this very large diamond ring I have that I would not be able to do any personal care wearing. That ring prompts clients to say things like:
"I can see YOU'RE taken!"
"Oh boy, someone loves you alot!"
Who bought me that ring?
Why I did of course :)

I was thinking about a dear person today named Mrs. Th.
I miss her dearly.
She said to me once:
"My dear girl, if you're not married it's because you do not want to be."
At the time I thought it was a very strange thing to say.
I think I understand what she meant now.

Ms. Th had been married 3 times.
Widowed 3 times. And still an optimist!
She lived in the most remote location from our central office. It was spectacular.
One day I almost fell over when an eagle swooped in front of the window.
Mere inches away.
I had never thought about how large an eagle really is!

The home was on a bluff.
Huge trees first growth variety were on the bank leading down to the waterfront. She looked out to a lighthouse and light marine traffic from the marina just around the bend. It was just a pleasure to be in the home. She was the icing on the cake.
We got along like a house on fire. Once I went off the night shift I did not see her again.

Mrs. Th so elegant and full of largess, gentility and warmth. It was that quality of class you cannot quite put words to. She was so very polished in such a refined manner. She exercised life as a nice choice; discriminating and sensitive to beauty; just a woman of quality. She once told me she wished I had been her daughter in law. I was so honoured. It was one of the highest compliments ever paid me.

I only found out a small while ago who her son is.
I had met granddaughters and adopted daughters and sons-in -law at her home but never the son. And yet it turned out that I know him.
He bore nor resemblance to his Mother at all physically.
He is a bit of a gentle giant.
But the heart is the same. He is a very good man.
He is a man who loves his family.
But the elegance and genteel manner skipped his generation.

Isn't that just like a classy woman to pass on the things that TRULY matter.

Oh Mrs. Th how I miss you.

A truly elegant taste is generally accompanied with an excellency of heart. - Henry Fielding

The only real elegance is in the mind, if you've got that, the rest really comes from it
. - Diana Vreelan

~*~ Death of a Warrior ~*~

Amid angels sighs...
on wings of thunder...
through a sunrise sky the eagle and its mate flies high…
The spirit warriors wait

-------------- ©Faye Sizemore
October 26, 2001


A sad thing happened around my town. I had the usual every 2nd Friday duty of dropping off my hours and mileage ito the office. Another worker was in the lower area where we have a drop file for such things.
I said my hi's and then my eagle-eye caught a single word on her client report sheet. *deceased*

I looked at her and she said, clutching it to her chest: "Oh no , don't look at that."

I asked her who. It was the warrior.
I gave her a big hug and asked her if she had been present at the time of death.

She burst into tears and said: "Yes. It was horrible."
She went on to tell me the last few days had been awful for her.
I told her how when I first started that happened to me in my second week on the job and I did not much like it either. We both cried.

"I am glad it was you." I said, then clarified; "And I mean that in the best of ways, you are a caring wonderful person and I am glad he had you.

What a warrior he was. He was a Pilot, a diver, a treasure-hunter, a financial wizard and so much more. He approached his brain cancer much the way he fought his paraplegia. He told me the hour and day of the accident which took away his ability to walk. It never stopped him from much except walking.

Mr. T. you were so strong.
Your courage and grace and appreciation of, and for, life was boundless.
God bless you and envelope you in his arms, free of pain and suffering.



~* Always*~ on the Job


All of the above.

am having a bit of a time regaining my abilities to the degree where I can comfortably drive long distances and perform life and death and after-death care. You would not want me walking in unable to speak clearly would you? How about if I lurched a little to the right every second step.
Yes yes, I am still off. I feel alot better but I am definitly not myself enough to go anywhere far. Luckily I live in the middle of our little resort city just up from the beach just over from the Library and just a few short blocks to the fabulous Thrift stores. We have the best deals ever in this town. Dealers line the aisles each and every morning picking up this and that for 50 cents and 2 dollars. It is a wonderful place if you like scrounging through other peoples stuff.
I do. Woo boy do I!

My little home houses me and my collections. The most noticable collection is my clocks. They really are fabulous. I also collect boxes, religious iconary, and cushions. I recycle. Get good stuff, enjoy it, get better stuff, donate the good stuff. The circle works for me. I never want for anything. Needs are few. Food. Money. Roof over my head. All that is taken care of. ahhhh

But I digress.... :)

I was very cranky yesterday. My jaw just would not unclench and I had to wear my jig all day to keep my teeth apart. Feeling very blue and unable even to cheer up by thrifting, I decided to go for a really good cup of coffee. A really really good ETHICAL cup of coffee.
But where?

My absolute favourite place is 1 hour up the highway in beautiful downtown nowheresville.
I couldnt possibly drive that far. If I could I should be working. I can't.
Inspiration hit. I went down to the little funky place owned by a 28 yr old hippie-chick. Her place is just down the hill near the water by me. The lights were dimmed. Odd for 13:00 hours. Even odder the keys were in the lock. I went in and she sat by the counter in tears.
"Sorry I am closed."

"I can see that. Your keys are in the door."

"Sorry... sorry closed. Ouch. Sorry."

She was doubled over in pain. This woman is fit and tough. She hikes and bikes and works her little shoppe 12+ hours a day in the tourist season and 8 every other day. She is no wimp.

"Oh please, dont make a scene. Please."

One of the advantages of being a take charge personality is that in crisis, I do not have to wait and think what to do I just do it. Ambulance came with little fanfare and she was whisked off to hospital and into surgery. She is recovering nicely at home now.

I think God had one of his angels whisper in my ear when I was thinking about going for a cup of coffee. I have not frequented her bistro for a year or so.

God can use anyone to accomplish his purpose.
God can work anything for good. Anything.

I love to cruise the Web looking for good things.
The quote below is from a site http://www.itwm.org/positive.html
This looks to me like a very inspired individual.
What do you think?

The raven is solitary in deposition, but was used by God to feed the prophet Elijah. God can use anything or anyone to do His will. Even someone like you and me.


Comfortably Numb

Perhaps it is dangerous to identify strongly with a song about drugs.
Hmmm does that mean the entire Floyd catalogue is out?

Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home? Hey! I have been homr a week now!

Come on, now.
I hear you’re feeling down.
Well I can ease your pain,
Get you on your feet again. yeah right; you told me it would not hurt the first time!

I need some information first.
Just the basic facts:
Can you show me where it hurts? Mouth you ninny! Mouth! Jaw! Brain! Ouch, honey, ouch!

There is no pain, you are receding.
A distant ship’s smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re sayin’.
When I was a child I had a fever.
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I got that feeling once again.
I can’t explain, you would not understand. Ah but I DO understand. When I was a child I saw the same things. Small beings.
This is not how I am. Maybe not, but it IS how I am.
I have become comfortably numb. Drat it all. I 'm not.

Just a little pinprick. [ping]
There’ll be no more --aaaaaahhhhh!
But you may feel a little sick. Nope I feel great. Except for this ocean of pain in my jaw.

Can you stand up?
I do believe it’s working. good.
That’ll keep you going for the show. Sorry bud. Retired. Reformed. No more shows.
Come on it’s time to go.

There is no pain, you are receding.
A distant ship’s smoke on the horizon. OOO its working. You really ARE receding.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re sayin’.
When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse,
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone.
I cannot put my finger on it now. I can. They were tiny beings of light. It wasn't a dream.
They are no longer visible to me now.

The child is grown, the dream is gone.
I have become comfortably numb. drat it all..... still not quite yet.

Pink Floyd

All righty then. Did that scare you?
Ah don't worry. It still hurts alot. ALOT. Alot.
Motrin is Advil. Thats all I am taking. I wear my jig at night which helps amazingly.
This has little to do with the current dental surgery and everything to do with the long ago traumas. It will be all right. <------ That link has SOME good info but overall the writer is deluded. In a very endearing way albeit. It still will really be all right tho. I promise.

After all I am a miracle many times over.
God must have something he wants of me.
Glad someone does. :)
God blessed me with a wonderful daughter.
I only ever truly prayed passionatly for 3 things in my life.
God gave me all three.
Want to know what they were?

I prayed from a young age: "Dear Lord, please just let me be happy." I am. Obscenely so.
In my teens and 20s: "Dear Lord please let my mother accept me for WHO I am and stop being so sorrowful about who I am not." It took her deathbed to do that but she did. God, what a price. Sometimes I wish I had NOT prayed that. But God heard my cry.
Same era it was: "Dear Lord, please let me know my Father."
I know him better than I knew my husband. The void left by my mothers dead was filled with our friendship.

So: Be careful what you pray for. Sometimes the cost is too high.
But this I know for certain:
In the darkness grace has not forsaken me.



Make me beautiful!!

After my dental procedure of last week,
I went directly into my office,
did NOT pass GO,
did NOT collect $200.
Filling out the form with dates of absence from work and reasons thereof, I sat in the little office trying to collect my bearings. One of our Supervisors came in, looked over my shoulder at the form, and patted me on the back saying:
"Oh the things you do for beauty!"
She was very lucky my mouth was full of gauze. Beauty was the last thing on my mind at that moment.

Today I had a beauty moment. I felt worlds better than yesterday and showered, dressed and went out for a morning capp. I caught my reflectoin in a storefront window. It did not match what I see in my mind for my residual body image. After all if this was the Matrix I would be 5 foot 10 with 42 inch legs and clad head to toe comfortably in leather.
I saw this puffy little round person all in blue. oooo is it Gimli? hmm surely not Bombur! ---ack! its ME!

I went straight to the plaza to my dear hairdresser Dallas. After all it is Tuesday and unlikely he is TOTALLY booked up, right?

"ok you walk-in-er! What do you want?"

"What do I want? OR why am I here today?"

"heh heh how much time will you need?"

"How much time do you have?"

"So basically I can do anything I want?"

"Yes please and throw in the complementary botox and lipo"

Ah the merriment!
Dallas cut and coloured my hair and then just before 3:30 when the lowlights were almost settled in, I remembered the orthdontists.

"hey Dallas? Will I be out of here by 3:45?"

"More like 4."

"But I have to be at the Ortho at 3:50"

"Oh sure NOW you tell me."

Well I was!!! Dallas is a hair god.
The reflection is now Liv Tyler on steroids.
hee hee.

Thats a GOOD thing you know. She was far too thin to be a realistic Arwen.
These women fought with swords for Eru's sake. It takes back muscles to support arm and shoulder muscles. Try fencing with no muscle. Good luck on that!

So tonight your silly caregiver blogmeistress sits blogging while looking FABULOUS darling.
Feel like I have a ways to go but in general life is MUCH better.

Dallas you are the greatest, most talented and by far the wittiest of them all.
Bless your glovie hands.

**The soul bride should weave patience into the braids of her hair, and apply the lotion of the Lord, the Great Lover. (Asa M.1 359)

Heffalumps and woozles

If you ever watched Winnie the Pooh, the Disney version, you know that heffalumps and woozles are those unseen creatures that come out from under the bed when the lights are out.
I always think about being woozley in terms of feeling like I am about to wind up UNDER the bed.

Faithful friends know that for years I have struggled with jaw pain and seemingly endless dental procedures. Sometimes I would wonder if the cure was worth the pain. There was always more that needed to be done.

Lest you think I have an unscrupulous dentist, I must assure you that everything I have endured was necessary.

In my early teens, a very heavy, old fashioned wooden baseball bat went end over end up and over a 20 foot backstop, winged by an excited school mate, and connected with my head.
A 1/2 inch in any direction and I would have died. Instead I just endured a million tiny deaths.
My traumatic brain injury was largely ignored although I did end up taking my entire highschooling through correspondence.

The blow was severe enough to cause jaw problems on through the prevailing years. I never thought about it much if at all until my 30s when a series of happenstances brought it back to my attention.

Tournament baseball was one of my great love affairs. I liked to play 2nd base. Sometimes I would pitch. During a warm-up in a big money tournament, after the whistle blew, a hung-over team mate of mine whipped a 60mph ball at me. My peripheral vision caught the blur and my instincts got my mitt ALMOST up in time. The ball deflected off my mitt into (you guessed it) my mouth. I can still remember just wandering around in shock with ice to my face for hours. I remember it because at the time I thought about the single other time in my life I had experienced that level of pain. I could walk. I could breathe. But think? no. Talk? no.
The other time of course being the bat to the head.

Those events were just two things in a long checkered life.
I always loved living and lived pretty large.
I did not dwell on those two things until the dental/jaw problems started interferring with my everyday life. Gradually, back teeth broke off from grinding. The front teeth which had needed bleaching then crowns fell out. A bridge was inserted. On and on and on. Root canals on all my side teeth were done to try to diminish the throbbing and popping. My ears were sore 80% of my waking life. I wakened to teeth on the pillow or a jaw that was locked. On and on and on.

Last year I told my sister I was ready to get my jaw broken and reset. She had the same operation ten years ago to correct a genetic predisposition which I share. Small mouth, big teeth, crowding. She told me that it cured 75% of her pain. I was ready to settle for a cure of 25%, hell even 10%. I know this surgery would be about 26 thousand dollars and mean months of recovery. I went to my dentist and told him: I am ready.

My dentist sent me to an orthodontist who told me that neither the dentist nor himself felt that extreme operation would be worth it for me. They felt they could accomplish better results with extractions and braces. ---whew---

Nothing in my mouth ever goes easily.
Whether it is from the severe early traumas and the ongoing smaller ones or just plain old life: NOTHING ever goes easy in my mouth.
The extraction was perfect. A little extra pain from the root being dug out but not bad.
The pain, however, increased daily so yesterday found me back in the chair asking *why*
The dentist told me some bone was exposed. (ouch)
He ground it down and dressed it. Last night was hellish and I went to bed a little discouraged.

Praise God. Praise the Dentist! This morning I woke up and found that my mouth hurts very little. It does hurt. But you know: compared to yesterday it is nothing.

Today I get the spacers for the braces that will go on next week.
I am excited now that the hell pain is gone.
Hurrah hurrah.

I am content with progress. SO much for the woozles.
On to the heffalumps.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be nor more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain. [Revelation]"
-- Bible


~* Fawlty

Whenever I am a little down in the mouth, I watch my little stash of "Fawlty Towers" episodes.
"The Psychiatrist"

My mouth is not happy. It will be soon though.
I have inherited a jaw problem that ten years ago I never really gave thought to.
It was a minor issue in my teens, but after an accident during tournament baseball, I began a long series of visits to the dentist. At first it was a niggling pain I thought was in my ear.
Then it was a throbbing in my right cheek. The throbbing became a drumbeat and now, 4 root canals, one endotontic root canal, 3 broken teeth now recrowned and 35% loss of range of motion later, I am willing to get braces to correct this bugger of a problem.

The worst of it is that my smile looks dazzling.
Noone would ever believe that I could have a problem when they look at my beautiful teeth.
Of course they do not realise they are looking at a dental masterpiece.
Twenty years and about 60k worth. All that money and still it is hurting.

Am I whining or is this really a problem?
Trust me... its a HUGE problem.
I rarely sleep more than 4 hours without waking up to a grind clench or tic.
Having a cramp while speaking is common also. My chin muscle is in spasm. I have a dimple where it should be smooth.

Massage to unclench my jaw is part of my weekly routine now.
The four broken teeth were night troubles. One I swallowed, the other three were found in the bed.
This with a custom made nightguard on!
I have spent more money on my mouth than I have on this little condo I live in.
And yet, the pain never relents.

After having to have a crown replaced I finally gave in and went for consultation with an Orthdontist. He x-rayed, measured and examined me for hours, and then made a jig that would force my jaw to relax. I wore this for 2 weeks. Then they remeasured.
I had the suggested treatment outlined for me and decided to go for it.
After all, if its a bugger now what will it be like in 5 years? Or ten?

I had the extractions necessaryto make the room to move my teeth over yesterday and next week will get my wires on.
The tooth did not want to come out and decided to break at the root. (wince)
A huge dosage of prescription Motrin and some muscle relaxants have got me in snoozeland.
So the care lane is at a full stop whilst I care for myself.

Not for long tho: I return to work Monday.
Fortunatly I booked a week of holidays around the time the wires go on.
Two years of this and I should have a working jaw and a mouth that opens properly.
With some very good luck I might even be able to sleep through the night.

The teeth are smiling, but is the heart?
- Congolese Proverb



When the Schedule is made up for the workload, there is a certain formula followed.
First priority are the clients who require full assistance with 2 workers.
Second priority are meds that are time specific.
Same for Palliative clients. They are accomodated as closely to their desires as possible.
The lower priorities are people who no imminent life-threatening illnesses.

I had one of those days where nothing seemed to be in my favour.
My schedule was changed after my 1st client.
The woman I went to was not one of my own. She is a lower priority client as pertains to the above. I was going there inbetween a woman in the advanced stages of Parkinsons and a gentleman battling brain cancer. I am not quite certain why they sent me, possibly it was a seniority issue. Anyway, I was roundly chastised for improper pouring of milk. Oh, and poor drying skills. Did I mention I forgot to open the back door? You know, all the really important things in life. I smile and do it all uncomplainingly, and then, as I leave, the woman apologises profusely. *bah*


We are still struggling trying to get the gentleman with brain cancer's edema under control. He has opted for more treatment.
He wants to live. Boy does he want to live.
He takes anti-cancer drugs and Diuretics which keep things moving along.
The trouble is that the drugs work so well his skin is weeping all the time.
Even compression stockings cannot hold the water back.
What happens then is that the skin just tears off in strips. It is hard to keep a handle on this. Every day there is a new open spot. It is a real challenge.

Not everyone is good at doing dressings. I am lucky in that the morning worker going into that gentleman takes the time to do a very good job every day. I love it when people are slotted where they can soar like eagles. It is doubtful you would ever read this Marilyn, but this is to let the world of blog-readers know you are a great person who does an excellent job.


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.


Colleen 'o' the Greens

In some dementias the person is left with but a few key words.
In others, actions take hold.

There is no cure for the progressive dementias.
The afflicted person can live for from two to twenty years (the average is eight).
In early stages, some drugs may temper the cognitive and behavioral symptoms. Non-pharmacological interventions can improve quality of life for the patient.
When the neurological impairment worsens, persons are dependent on caregivers and various complications develop. Clients frequently enter the healthcare system as Home Support and advance through to Intermediate and then Extended Care.

Colleen was a very animated happy woman.
She had been a great athelete and in particular a very gifted golfer. I knew none of that when I met her. I just saw that she was bored with what life she had left.

I met Colleen in a Hospital setting. She was in the extended care wing. She was an *eloper* so she was typically in a restraint.
Now judgement or no, I am opposed to physical restraints. I am not sure about chemical restraints either. The Head Nurse would remind me on a daily basis that it was the right of the family to decide such things. I have the right to disagree with that. And I did. And I still do. Noone in our area has ever successfully sued a Hospital for someone falling who might have been restrained. There are, however, several lawsuits pending about restraints improperly (allegedly) used.

I think people have the right to fall. I think even in a dementia if the person wants to walk let them walk. We do so much *fixing* in health care. Maybe they are not meant to BE fixed.

Colleen knew that I hated to see her strapped into a chair.
I would take her out on my breaks. Take her to the washroom so she could actually have the dignity of voiding on the throne rather than in her pants. I could always tell when she couldn't hold it any longer. She would have a tear in her eyes. She was not too talkative but she had a few words. Like: "thank you" and "dear dear".

I did not enjoy working in this Hospital and left as soon as I had other employment. I never went back to visit anyone there. Not physically anyway.

I had an assignment through Hospice at a private Hospital near my home. They asked me to go see a person in the end-of-life room. A good opportunity presented itself on the day they held a carnival for the community. There were pictures and memory books of all residents along with events for kids and families. The idea was that people would come for the carnival and stay to intermingle with the elders.

I walked into the dining room at lunchtime and heard an unmistakable voice shouting "ME! ME! ME! ME!"
In the corner where they put the "feed" clients (it is out of view of the other residents as it is not a lovely sight) sat Colleen.
She was bobbing her head at me wildly. I went over and sat beside her and asked the workers if I could feed her. The chef had given her food a palette look. He knew she had been a painter.

The Nurse in charge of the dining room let me remove her from the table as soon as she finished. I wheeled her out to the carnival.
There were happy kids everywhere. Lots of animals and more than a few performers. Colleen was babbling ME ME ME over and over again and motioning with her head. (Her arms were under a restraint.)

We wheeled past the action, past the tables of goodies, past the displays of crafts, past the books of lives where old blue grannies sat showing off to the very last table. Colleen suddenly hooted.
I stopped and looked at a very well-worn book. It was alot bigger than the others. Noone at all was even near us. It didnt look like anyone HAD been.

I pulled up a chair and sat beside Colleen and opened the book.
We looked at the whole thing. It took 2 hours.
It was press clippings and newspaper stories following her career as a pro golfer. She had been exceptional right from a small girl.
I saw pictures of her in her teens and in her 70s.
The last of the book was dedicated to her art career.
When we turned the last page the sun was going down.
The last of the party-goers had long since gone and the rest of the tables were dismantled. I looked across the lawn to the main building and saw dinner preparations.

Colleen and I went in. I did not get to see the other fella. He went on to eternity just fine without my help. Colleen gave me a kiss when I left and said: "You! You!"

I read her obituary not long ago.
It did not catch her spirit at all.
She was a great woman.
God bless you my dear.
*You* were.

Memory performs the impossible for man; holds together past and present, gives continuity and dignity to human life. - Mark Van Doren

Maltese criss-cross

"Shh! Come in the Kitchen!"



All right, so I have never been accused of being overly subtle,
quite the opposite. This secrecy thing was not second nature.

"Sir, what it is?"

His wife, on full alert tried to turn around in her wheelchair.
She looked at me, then looked into the kitchen where her husband stood. She said something in German and shook her head.
The pictures on the wall were of the two of them at the townhall getting married. Her with business awards. Him with war medals and accolades for bravery. The two of them ballroom dancing.

I finished up what I was doing with her and went into the kitchen. I thought he had something to tell me pertaining to the wife. She had been getting very difficult to transfer.

He had his forefinger laid alongside his nose.
He motioned at the counter.
There was a beautiful plate of cookies there.
He winked at me and put a little napkin wrapped item in my hand.
I shook my head. He put it in my pocket.
"Must be shortbread", I thought. They seemed very heavy.

Two weeks later I was driving down the road and saw a napkin in the centre holder of my car. I remembered those cookies and wondered if they would still be good.
I made a grab for the napkin and out fell a small bottle of Kahlua. Oops.

It was a strange thing. I had not noticed when he began the drinking that now was an every night thing. I never fault anyone who lived through the hell of war their comforts. Now, so many long years later, he was the main caregiver to a stroke-worn wife. No more dances. No more conversations, she had reverted to a single language, her first. No more much of anything but sitting in their cute little house looking out on a world still turning without them. I did not fault him at all.

He had forgotten to cancel service. She was in the hospital recovering from another small stroke.

"Come in come in."
I was booked for 30 mins but as usual for evening shift I was behind in my time, and could use it for travelling if she was not home.

"Is she here?"

"Come in for a minute."

I went in with a funny feeling. He was in his cups.

"Come and give us a kiss."

"What?" You would think I would see that coming.

"Come on... give us a kiss. I think you are wonderful."

"SIR! Your wife! Don't talk like that."

I ended up leaving after just a few moments.
She never did come home.

The next year he was on my list.
I asked not to be sent... for obvious reasons.
My supervisor told me he wouldn't be doing much of "that".
"He's a very sick puppy."

I did go. He was barely recognisable. He was pretending everything was fine. We talked about his years in Malta and his gardens and this and that. He told me how happy he was his wife had not had to take care of him. How he was so blessed to have had her. Alot of things he wanted to be remembered as.

God Bless you Mr. D
I remember you as the hero you were.
A valiant and courageous man in life and death.

Perfect Valor is to do, without a witness, all that we could do before the whole world.

La Rochefoucauld, François de


Wild life

Being a responsible dog owner, I ensure my little man has adequate exercise daily.
When I fail in my duties, he lets me know.; usually around 3am,
Last night was such a night and so, this morning as I left f0r work he managed to run out the door and jump in my car with me. Being a short day, I thought it would be all right.
My little wild thing!

We had a long drive out to client #2 who lives in a coastal community about 30 minutes north of me. She lives on a small acreage with lots of fruit trees and berry bushes. We drove in and parked by the house. The dog started to bark excitedly so I let him out and walked to the perimetre with him. He was galavanting happily with his tail wagging furiously. Suddenly his tail went limp and then curled under him and he ran back to the car. I was calling him and chiding him. I heard a snort near me in the bushes. "Big dog", I thought.

Very big dog! Big black dog.
* The penny dropped.*
I went back to the car and let the dog in quickly then entered the house asap.
My dog started to cry from the car. He never cries.
I looked out the kitchen window and there at the pear tree was a small black bear cub.
Darn big dog! Another cub was in the bushes looking. Mama was most likely nearby.
Being a city girl I found this very exhiliarting!
I bought my dog a sausage roll after I finished with the client.
Next time I will listen more closely to him.

"When a pine needle falls in the forest, the eagle sees it; the deer hears it, and the bear smells it."
- an old First Nations saying



Thief! Thief! We hates it forever!

I failed net 101. I bet you did not even know there was a test on it.
Neither did I to be sure, but I just got my grade courtesy of a cute little site I wanted to link to.

I suppose I am from the archaic mindset where the internet means the free sharing of information.
I also enjoy radio. I believe radio should be free. I certainly would not advocate charging people for listening to broadcasts. Chronically behind the times am I.

The irony in this (to me) is so clear. After all I made reference to a well-loved work of fiction that Hollywood has taken over. Prior to it's multi-Oscar film adaptation, the Lord of the Rings was a cult status work. It's originator, Mr. J.R.R. Tolkien never quite understood the celebrity it brought him. Imagine what he would think today. You have to beg permission to even say something remotely middle-earthish without threat of lawsuit. Ah well.

So be sure to scroll down to my post on "Red like Braveheart" and click on the link to the Hobbit. See, it's ok to be dissed by an image of Ian McKellan, but it is not okay to point people to a map on their site.

I know, I know... it's all about bandwidth. But how many people read this blog of mine anyway?
Noone much.
And isn't it good to share?
Apparantly not.

That fall, I remember, was the first time when a man of our village refused to share a deer he had killed. Instead of giving away the heart, the hindquarters, and the forequarters, he gave only the neck and kept the real meat for himself. ------
That same man was the first person to own a car on our reserve. He had been disgraced and ridiculed throughout the Shuswap. But he was a pioneer in introducing European progress.

George Manuel & Michael Posluns' The Fourth World: An Indian Reality (1974).

Miles to go

When part of your job is driving, you make sure your car is well maintained.
My car is a late model GM product. Is has built-in everything.
This is the first car I have ever bought with virtually every option available installed.
I like the power everything.
I like the leather seats.
I like the sun-roof and the wind-screening and rain guard.

I availed myself of cruise control on my way home.
My last client was way out in the middle of the mountain. There is a handy new highway close by. Without it I would have been on logging roads. My favourite!

I almost fell asleep on the way home.
It started to rain from grey skies. The highway was lulling me, coaxing me to relax.
I already am way too relaxed. Waaaay too relaxed.


Woke up in a hurry this morning.
After a medication visit I had a fairly hard assignment.
It is usually a 2 person job but there was only me today.
The client is fairly weak. I had to sweat a little!
Gatorade should be dispensed to all health-care workers, gratis.

Me and my electrolytes are going for a nap now.
mmm nap.

Consciousness: that annoying time between naps. - Unknown


When are those holidays again?

Give me an inch and I want the whole enchilada.
Ahhh it was so enjoyable being off on a day such as yesterday.
I did all my favourite things to excess. Even laundry.
Yes, I like doing laundry. It satisfies the need for routine in me.
Thats why I save it all up for one big huge washday event!

Creeping up on 1 week off. What to do, what to do?
I was considering an Alaskan cruise but I have noone to go with.
Funny how vacations bring out the pack animal in me.
I want to go see the Northern Lights. I want to look out on the green seas.
I want to smell something new. Taste touch and breathe a true holiday.

"Nature does not at once disclose her mysteries"
-- Seneca

Care lane still calm. Stable with few challenges.
Mrs. pleasantly confused is now officially Mrs. Unpleasantly confused.
Doesn't that sound like a name from a Monty Python skit?
Mrs. No-supper-for-you!



Now turns our world from dark to grey
Slumber yields not her soft embrace
Despite the miracle of day
presenting whate'er we now must face
Not ours to know which course to run
The shades and lights of what may fall
We long to once more feel the sun
Relieve the cool oppressive pall

I have no idea why I wrote that down.
I found it scribbled on a scrap of paper along with some Tolkien-esque poems written to be played on harp or lute. Perhaps I was thinking of the Shire.

Labour day.
I delight in being off. On behalf of workers everywhere allow me to enjoy the day in utter languidity. Ah, it is good to be me.


Sunday colours

As I wound my way home early in the afternoon I passed a few churches.
It was just before noon and their parking lots were full. I drove by the United Church first.
Every car in the lot was grey, white or beige.
"That's strange," I thought.

A few miles along I passed a Charismatic Church. Alot of burgundy and green cars stood out.
It was just odd to be so struck. I took a wee detour on the way home to pass the Baptist church for curiousities' sake. It wasn't any one colour that stood out there. It was sports cars and convertibles and motorcycles. Alot more noticably expensive vehicles in that lot.

"Nothing is too good for God."
Some wise person said that to me when I was shocked to hear over $20 thousand was spent on a new grand piano for the sanctuary. Digital made more sense to me. More sense and less dollars. In a Bible study, it was suggested that the story of the woman who poured the perfume over Christ's feet was told to show that very point. Nothing is too good for God.

It was Judas Iscariot who protested that tender action. The perfume she poured was worth about $30 thousand dollars. Jesus stood up for her saying: "She has annointed my body for burial." It was further suggested that the reason Judas protested was that he was the one in charge of the funds for the Apostles. He also may have been embezzling.

I am of two minds on this topic.
There are so many needy people in our community as everywhere.
But that was Judas' arguement also.
"That perfume could have been sold and the money given to aid the poor."


The care lane was calm with little traffic today.
One tiny incident first thing where a gentleman's legs failed him.
Every single time I forget to let the person go down.
Again, I guided him to the bed by sheer strength. This is not good.
I hurt my back that way one year. We are supposed to let them go down and then dial the ambulance to get them up. I find my instinct kicks in so fast. I have to , absolutely have to, stop myself from doing that.


To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking.
-- Goethe


Beautiful Long Summer Days

Lolling around on my days off and thanking God for creating such a place as this!
I am just about 20 years late here.
It is turning from a sleepy resort town to a yuppy destination.
Used to be almost every head here was blue white or grey.
These days the blue is the teenage version and the white and grey stand out more against the thirty somethings who move here with their big city bucks and build huge homes on small lots.
The ocean front once pristine for miles is almost vinyl clad wall to wall now except for the public beaches and the Parks and estuaries.

It is almost back-to-school here.
The shops and streets still are clogged with visitors from afar.
The Village is swollen with all sorts of cars.
If you are a classic car and motorcycle fan this is the place to be.
Alot of beautiful restored cars here. Not mine tho. Just a GM product for a change.

Some days were meant to be cherished slowly and determinedly.
I had the most tasty peppered Brie cheese on my savoury crackers with antipasto for brunch. Oh it was so delicious!
Later it will be mint jelly on lamb with rice and some brussel sprouts. mmmMMMMmm

It is indeed paradise here by the Pacific.

"Some people have a foolish way of not minding, or pretending not to mind, what they eat. For my part, I mind my belly very studiously, and very carefully; for I look upon it, that he who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else."
Boswell: Life


Red like Braveheart

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.

Summer was the season of softness and sorrow.
Seven longterm care clients who had been on service for years (some decades) died. We were all a little blue.

Like a deck being reshuffled we had ten new admissions the same season.
Rushing around meeting the new group getting new routines up and stable kept us busy.
A group of ten of us were "invited" to an in-home training session for a new client with equipment we all required "instruction" in. (workers compensation rules and so on)
We use this same item every single day in other homes but should there be a mishap, it would bode ill for whomsoever was at the helm, technically untrained in that home.

Alot of us sleepwalk through parts of these sessions. Could it be me?
I can multitask. I try to look for something else to concentrate on as whoever it is doing the instructing drones on and on. Not that they are not interesting and capable trainers.
Well, some of them are anyway. That day was an exception.

We moved from the living area into where a man lay resting.
By the bedside, a copy of "The Hobbit" dogearred and well worn.
Naturally I perked up immediatly.
I looked to the client and staring back at me was this man with the reddest of hair on his head, closely shaven, and eyes bright as the glacier waters of Lake Louise.
His chest was exposed in his open pajama top and swirling curls red- red like Pippi Longstocking-red like raggety andy -red like braveheart matched.
He was smirking at me.

I did not take it in for a minute as I was still trying to pay attention to the session in case I was first at bat. Good intution that!

I heard my name and ascertained the Trainer was asking for me to hook our client up and demonstrate. I think she knew I was elseworlds in my mind.
The man in the bed winked at me and to my horror I blushed hard.
Now I have very pale white skin so when I blush it is pink most obvious.
Not even an introduction and already I was in trouble.

Red in the bed was a delightful person to spend time with.
He called me Periwinkle. I called him Braveheart.

"Didn't Braveheart have black hair? Or brown, Peri?"

"Not in this case."

"I am sure it was dark brown."

"Details. Details."

He was a 2 person assignment.
He would speak engagingly to me, chattering happily about yuppie life in the City, my City,
and the 2nd person would always look at me slightly questioningly. Overly personal remarks are frowned on.

He would question me on Bands and Clubs, events and fundraisers, wannabes and neverwas's
and the 2nd workers would gape. He tried to catch me out in all sorts of things.
Never successfully. We had gone the same routes done the same things and never met.

"I was married then."
"Hey me too."

"Once or twice?"
"Hey, me too!"

The 2nd person sometimes would leave the room and roll their eyes.
I took no notice.
He just seemed so familiar.

"Peri I think I knew you in another life."

"No, we established that."

"No I mean really another life. Another lifeTIME."

Braveheart was one year younger than me.
He had undergone brain surgery to remove a tumour at the age of 20 and after a year of recovery had resumed a full life. He was very accomplished and held a high position in a firm of reknown when one day after a business lunch he had passed out in an elevator.

He had tundergone a brain scan which found a new tumour had become resident in his brain.
Surgery had been fast-tracked. He had no fear as he underwent the knife.
He woke up to 100% loss of function on one side of his body.
His speech and will were unimpaired.

"It was quite a blow Peri. They couldn't do anything. They just closed me up."
What can you say to that?
He told me the worst part was loosing his hair for nothing.

Braveheart had been given a 2 month prognosis.
His parents had come from the other side of the country to be with him.
Everyone was staying in the home of his brother.
Everyone was painfully aware as the of the sands of time rushed fast.

I had a call, prior to my Monday start to inform me he had declined drastically overnight.
When we entered, his eyes were shut and he was moaning quietly, although he looked otherwise, exactly the same. It was maddening. The tumour was beginning to press hard against key nerve centres in his brain. His antispasmotics had been increased to no avail.
He was not having seizures but neither was he able to move at all.
Soon his organs would shut down.

I knew he could hear us.
His eyes were flickering as we worked.
My co-worker held a different viewpoint.

"He can't hear us."

"I think he can."

"You are an optimist."

"No, I am a realist."

I had a call to add him for mid-morning.
Just me. No assist. He was not going anywhere.

I went in and did my work.
He was moaning still.

"You going to open those eyes Braveheart?"

His eyelids were very active.
And then, one word.


I asked: "Will you open them for me tomorrow?"

--- nothing.

I pushed a little: :"Just one more glimpse of those baby blues?"

He nodded very slightly.
I gave his bedding a little tuck and said goodbye.

He said more loudly: "Thank you."

My heart was putty.
Part of me thought I had imagined it, but no, he had spoken.
I had to stand in the doorway for a few minutes collecting myself before I could turn around and face the family.
Then I quietly let myself out.

The next morning my co-worker and I came in.
Both his Mother and his sister had bloodshot eyes.
I saw that a chair was beside the bed where Mom had been stationed all night.

"He has been unconscious since yesterday suppertime. He hasn't spoken clearly all night but he has been very restless."

Mom was shakey.

We did our stuff and as we finished my co-worker said very charitably:
"I will give you some privacy to say good bye. You knew him best."

It was so hard to see this beautiful person laying there.
Perfect, except for one thing.
So hard to imagine why God would do this to anyone.
Wasn't it enough he had lived through it once?

I am not God nor do I wish to be.
Praying for forgiveness for my questioning mind and my impudence, I asked God to make his death easy.
Please God. Easy and without lingering.

"Braveheart you promised to open those eyes again. Come on now."

I always speak to my unconscious clients.
I do not expect nor anticipate response but I truly believe most people retain their hearing and some degree of cognitivity to the end. They just cannot show it.

I stood watching him. Suddenly his eyelids moved.
They were flickering.
He struggled for at least a minute and then, miraculously his eyes opened.
The amount of effort and energy that action cost him was staggering.
He was so weak that he could not lift his head.

I crouched myself down into his line of vision, saw those large brillliant blue eyes clearly staring at me. Into me. He could not do anything more than that, but God forgive me, how it hurt.
I cried out.

"No, no!" I was horrified at my selffishness.

" Save this for your family.
"But thank you......... so so very much. Thank you for being so gracious and kind to me. God bless you Braveheart."

I kissed his forehead and turned around.
His mother and his sister came back to their places by the bed.
I hugged his Mother and walked to the door.


I took a step to the hall.
There were two gasps from the bedroom and I turned to see his mother looking at me.

"He said "Goodbye." "

I had to take the following day off and I just let myself cry for awhile.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."
Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

The weekend looms

Hurray hurray days off are here!!

Not that is was a long week just a tiny bit of a difficult one.

Cancer cancer cancer dementia cancer Alzheimers cancer.
Stroke cancer cancer Parkinsons cancer dementia.
Cancer cancer cancer cancer.
Stroke Parkinsons cancer cancer cancer.
Stroke Parkinsons CHF cancer cancer.

There you have it.
That was my week in a nutshell.


September Morning

Today dawned ominously overcast. The air heavy with moisture and the pollens from a hundred million doused buds, my nose wanted to stay in bed. The rest of me was ready to go.

I had two new names on my list today. It was a "lite" day in the care lane.
Tomorrow I resume with a wonderful woman in her 80s who is holding her own against that nasty demon Cancer. Again this is a brain cancer.

I love going to her. Talk about elegance of lifestyle. Her attitude is impeccable. She lives to the best of her ability. Her treatment robbed her of much of her vision. She could no longer see her beloved sports. She had a great solution. A MUCH bigger television is now in her living room.
She tells me if it get so she can't see this one she will get an even bigger one. My kind of gal.

"The comfort of having a friend may be taken away, but not that of having had one."