Welcome to my world - The world of Tish

Friday, December 10, 2004

When a 97 year old woman cries, it gets to you

Her face wrinkles in every direction as she smiles, but I think she's beautiful.
Her fingernails are painted coral red and her lipstick bleeds from her lips onto her false teeth. Two days a week I am graced by her presence and every day our conversations are the same.

"How are you today?"
"I'm alright, I guess." Her eyes are clouded with cataracts and glaucoma but she studies me just the same.
"Let's do some exercise."
"I'm not feeling too good today." But then she performs each exercise, each transfer, and all the walking I put in front of her. When she gets perturbed with me, she plays the age card.
"You know, I'm dang near 95 years old."
When I joke about finding her a handsome man to dance with, she pops off, "Shit! I don't want nothing to do with nare a man.
Her daughter smooths the wavy thickets of snow white hair on her mother's head. "We're going on a day trip tomorrow."
"Yes, and we are gonna be driving on that scary road.." My patient's voice cracks and tears well up in her eyes. "I'm so afraid."
Even with us hovering and comforting her, she shakes with terror until distracted with a fresh cup of coffee.
I wait until I am safe in my car to cry for a woman that's lived her life to wait for the next...and is afraid to drive on the highways I barely acknowledge.


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