An Evening at the Home

Written by: Gail DeBole

Written: March 5, 2012
Updated: March 11, 2012


Listen to nurse's report including the news 
that Joe and Wilma like each other.

Check all rooms and find that Roger is out of his bed
and down on the floor again.
  (Hip not broken yet.)

Answer Wanda's light to calm her justified paranoia 
because she knows that she is somewhere other 
than her home but just can't figure out where that is.

Answer Jeremy's light to help him sip his water 
while he giggles at his favorite T.V. show.

Accept his thanks and feel your heart break again to see a 
45 year old man who can no longer control his limbs be so 
appreciative of such a small act of kindness...big act of kindness.

Check on Jack even though he doesn't turn on his light 
because you hear suspicious noises coming from his room.  

Help Jack to bed after you find him swatting an 
imaginary fly with an imaginary fly swatter.

Try to re-position Emma so that she is comfortable 
even though her limbs are fetal-position frozen.

Kindly lie to yourself about her comfort so that you can 
control your guilt when leaving the room.

Go into Jackie's room when she starts her usual screaming 
that "she doesn't want to be here, and her family hates her 
and that's why she's here."

Kindly lie to her and control your shame because you know that 
what she is saying probably is true.

Answer ex-model Mabel's light and listen to her story about 
how she could have married Groucho Marx, but that she married 
her true-love instead.

Feel a sense of sad pride when Anna proudly explains to you 
how she keeps track of her day by tracking her activities as she 
would have for patients when she was a nurse.

Keep taking care of and giving these people (not patients) 
love every chance that you get.

Gail's notes: Portrait of Joe and Wanda is the sequel to this.  To protect the privacy of those who have lived before us, the names have been fictionalized, and the events semi-fictionalized.