The Leaning Cow

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Life goes on

July 24th, 2015 ·No Comments

I ran several errands today, the last one taking me to Albion, which is southwest of here, Kendallville. I usually go SE to Fort Wayne, or a longer SE vector and end up in Dayton, Ohio – or NW to this little village in Lagrange County. Up until May 12, I did often go to Albion, because that’s where my friend Kathryn Feller and her roommate who became my friend, Clara Bender, used to share a room in North Ridge Nursing Home. Clara died early in the year; Kathryn died May 12th and because the nursing home was my only destination to the west, I have not driven by since.

I have thought about going over to visit with some of the residents and nurses and aides I met over the past few years, but I just didn’t do it. Today, I drove right by the entrance on the way to downtown Albion, and on the way back, I turned into the entrance road. It was strange going back and not making that turn into Room 420 – but I think it would have eventually felt stranger to have never returned at all.

I was able to visit and laugh with residents I had seen regularly and talk with staff I had come to know. I first saw Tiffany; I remember a few years ago when she was a very competent and mature aide, I had asked her age while in Kathryn’s room. She said 19. Good Heavens, what I would have given to have had her poise at that age. Sharon was there – Sharon who was so understanding and calm and caring during Kathry’s last days. And Tracy with her incredibly consistent good humor. And others I spotted while visiting with Helen Rex who had been Dorothy’s roommate when Dorothy had been Kathryn’s tablemate. Dorothy passed away last fall.

I didn’t get to see Amanda – an aide whose is also a triplet – who took care of Kathryn and Clara for years, always with a smile. Amanda, who washed Kathryn for the last time . . . Matt is a resident who was in the hospital, but he’ll be back. And I guess so will I.

I know “Life goes on” is a cliche, but then almost everything is and it doesn’t matter. In this case, it’s a resigned sigh, an acceptance of breathing in and breathing out until that one day when you don’t. It’s the laughter that followed remembering Clara and Kathryn stories and it will be the laughter of those remembering the times AmeliaJake (you know: me) did some eccentric thing. (Yes, there were lots of times. We just don’t need to talk about some of them now. You know, like backing into the garage door . . .)

Tags: Just Me - AmeliaJake · The Peanut Butter Cafe & Roadhouse

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