Yesterday I spent the day with Anna..Anna is a 91 yr old woman who can’t see..can barely walk..or do much of anything for herself..But her mind is pretty good for her age..yes at times she seemed a bit confused..and I didn’t know if her stories were truth or fiction or something made up in Anna’s head..I was asked to stay with Anna while her grandson traveled today..yes he paid me some money..but I would probably do it for free regardless..
Anna enjoyed having company..she didn’t get up from her chair once in the 8 hours I spent with her.,and she couldn’t see me.,so it didn’t matter if I had makeup on.,painted my face blue..dyed my hair green..if I was 500 lbs or 2 ft tall.,none of that mattered.,,the world’s standards of beauty or acknowledging someone as a person didn’t matter..Anna didn’t ignore me.,or look down or avoid eye contact or call me names like the world has..Anna couldn’t see me,,no ..all Anna cared about was that she wasn’t alone..,and someone was there to watch tv with her…Anna had a beautiful flat screen tv that she can’t see..but listens to..
I was a voice to Anna,,she didn’t know my story.,my Cancer story..how a man I thought I loved , moved 1300 miles away.. when I needed him..how I felt rejected,.useless.,all the negative words that people ever said to me .,about me..Anna didn’t know that many times I wanted to die and not be in this world because life for me was too hard,,no..she was just happy I was there..she kept asking if I would be there tomorrow and I said no,,her grandson hired a nurse the rest of the week..so ..I brought Anna a plate of shrimp salad and chips..she couldn’t see at all..I had to place the plate in her hands..I gave her a dove ice cream bar and had to place her hand on the stick so she could eat it..mean while I was enjoying my ice cream..
No..Anna didn’t care about the things I worried about or had to do or try to be to get people to like ,me or whatever,,no Anna just wanted someone to listen to her stories and bring her lunch and share her food with.,someone not honest ..could have robbed this woman..she can’t see..she is trusting this person,,I am not that kind of person.,but unfortunately many care givers aren’t like me..and steal..so for 8 hours I sat with Anna watching/listening to movies on the tv.,texting on my phone.,and I didn’t have to be anything.,or please anyone..I was me and she was Anna.,whether it was her medication..or early signs of dementia..none of that mattered..she seemed comforted that someone was with her…I got out of my mother’s house for the day..away from thoughts about dying and treatment..and enjoyed eating snacks with Anna ..and seeing the world thru Anna’s eyes..
I could move Anna’s chair in front of a window and she could describe a sunny day and what she saw even though she couldn’t see her hand in front of her face,,or the crumbs on my shirt ..or my wind blown hair tied in a pony tail..no Anna saw a nice young lady spending the day with her.,this is what she told her brother on the phone while I was there..thank you Anna for showing me what I was blind to and was right in front of me,,that it doesn’t matter how you look.,and how blessed I am for what I have.,and the simple pleasure of enjoying a meal and some ice cream can be so sweet..and that life is a gift and should be cherished.,..