Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What a difference a place makes...

I went to visit my Dad today, and bring over the remaining cupcakes from my birthday party last night(39! Yay.). As usual, the house was clean and calm and everyone was happy to see me. I sat with Dad on the couch quietly for a while, and I don't think he knew me; he seemed a little irritated. But when I joined him and two of the other residents, both lovely people, at the table, he seemed to warm up. As they ate their hot dogs and onion rings, we all talked about where we had lived, what jobs we had done, things we liked to do. And Dad started to remember things about himself and his life, correcting me on the name of a city where he had lived as a boy, and laughing with me about his old love for skiing. And he seemed to remember me, talking to me about our family and my sister. In the old facility, there would have been a bustle of caregivers feeding and cleaning up, too many other residents talking or yelling, and an overall feeling of rush and tasks to finish. Here, all was calm and leisurely, there were no schedules or tasks to be completed, only people who needed to be fed with respect and in comfort. It was lovely.

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