Dictating Love

The other night this week I was working at the assisted-living facility.  One of the ladies there has dementia and compensates for her slipping memory by writing everything down, every day.  She writes down who brought her breakfast, who gave her, her pills, what time they came to give them… everything. Sometimes she can’t remember these things and is gets her really flustered and frustrated.

I walked into her room that night and the first thing she said to me after my greeting sung (Broadway style) in Swiss (which she taught me) was, “I have a problem.”  It was just the way she said it that I knew what was up… she couldn’t remember what happened that day.  So I responded by saying, “I have a solution.”

She looked at me dumbfounded,  surprised that I would know her problem before she even told me.  “You do?”

“Yes, I do.  I’m going to help you.”

So, she pulls out her notebook, full of meticulous notes of all her daily happenings.  I scan what she’s written so far and see that she basically caught up to the present moment.  So I begin to dictate to her, word by word, what she needs to write to finish out the day.  I speak slowly, word by word, so she can write…

“Eva… gave… me… my… bedtime… pills.”

I wait while she finishes writing, then continue before she has time to put down her pen…

“She… also… said… that… she… got… a… job… in… Virginia… and… Saturday… is… her… last… day… of… work… here.”

What I’m saying isn’t registering with her.  She’s just writing whatever I say.

I keep going…

“She… told… me… she… has… enjoyed… speaking… Swiss… with… me… and… she… will… miss… me.”

When she finished, she stopped for a moment, reading under her breath what she’d written.

“She will miss me…”

Then she looks up at me, “You will?”

“Yes, I will.”

“Well, I’ll miss you too.”


~ by Eva on October 11, 2009.

2 Responses to “Dictating Love”

  1. Your…heart…is…b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l!

  2. This brought tears to my eyes, Eva! A combination of remembering so many of my own precious moments with many precious souls at MMH and because I can just imagine the exchange brought so much peace to her heart to know that she is loved and will be missed, even though she might not remember it soon…until she looks back at her notebook. Blessings in your job and location…I’m sure you will bring this kind of joy and peace to many others.

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