Monday, February 09, 2009

Valentines Wishes

Observed yesterday at the cognitive care unit.

During lunchtime, when about half of the ward residents were sitting around out in the common area near the fireplace, an older gentleman in a wheelchair laboriously made his way over to the nurse in the corner and told her he needed help writing a Valentines card.

"For me?" the nurse, a cute young thing, asked, and they both laughed. "Just kidding!"

She worked with him for a while on what he wanted to say and a few minutes later I noticed her sitting at the table next to us with a set of greeting cards and a pencil-written note that she was copying in ink onto each of the cards. Because of the way she was sitting, I could see the message clearly.

"Lilly,
I'm sorry. I love you.
H"

This little glimpse just broke my heart. I wonder, is Lilly even alive anymore? Mr. H, being an alzheimers patient, might not know if she isn't. Was he apologizing for his Alzheimers, for having to leave her, for not being with her this valentines day?

I can't decide if the dominant message here is that aging (and Alzheimers) can be very cruel or that love is enduring and very, very sweet.

Either way, it just kills me.

2 comments:

The Empty Envelope said...

Aw, how heartbreaking.

ar_kay_tee said...

Hi Megan,

I just caught up on your last couple of posts. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. I remember meeting her and your father when I housesat for you guys, and your family seemed so lovely. I know that this must be such a difficult time for you. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

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