Tuesday, February 16, 2021


This is one of my nursing home stories. I'll tell it in multiple parts because it's a bit long. Logically, my prologue would be followed by how I came to work at a nursing home, my training, and all that, and maybe I'll write about that. But for now I'm posting reruns and adding to them a bit. I think I'll tell most of my stories by focusing on certain patients––with names changed, of course.

How I adored Vivie! Our love affair began when I was still a hospitality aide, emptying the laundry bins for the GNAs, one of whom I would soon be.*

One of my most important evening tasks, and one that was required by law, was offering an evening snack to the patients. I didn't get a lot of takers since most of the old folks ate supper and then headed straight to bed.

But I asked anyway: "Would you like some juice? Would you like some ice cream? How about a sandwich?"

Faith, who was an old hand at the hospitality aide business and who trained me, told me not to ask Vivie if she wanted a snack. "She never wants anything," Faith told me.

But disobedient soul that I am, I asked Vivie anyway. Faith was right. Vivie always shook her head and waved me away.

But with persistence I had a Vivie breakthrough. Each evening a woman and her young daughter, about five years old, came in to put Vivie to bed.

One night during October the little girl wore her Halloween costume, complete with crown and gown.

"Your Highness," I cried, as I entered Vivie's room, "I didn't realize you are a princess."

Then I curtsied.

The little girl giggled. Vivie giggled. After that, Vivie smiled when she saw me, though she continued to wave me away at snack time.

One night I got to Vivie's room with my snack cart to find Vivie already in bed. She wore a fresh snap-up-the-front smock. A hairnet perched on her dark hair to keep her permed, dyed curls in place.

"Would you like a snack?" I inquired as usual.

"Why do you ask me?" Vivie spluttered. "You know I never want anything."

"I ask because I love you," I said.

"Oh, oh!" Vivie responded, making her usual spluttering noises as she searched for the right words. "Oh, I just love you."

I hugged her and kissed her cheek.

I knew I had a new friend.

*GNA stands for Geriatric Nursing Assistant.


  1. This is truly lovely. Of course. I have grown to expect nothing less from you.

  2. My day will be better having read this.

  3. Hi Janie - exactly what we should all be doing ... we need to find a way into their scared lonely hearts. All the best - Hilary

    1. I knew I could provide her with better care if she trusted me.

  4. You were obviously well-equipped for the job, Janie, and you and Vivie were lucky to have met each other. It speaks volumes when you can recount this story so many years later. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  5. She sounds like a nice lady, in her own way😁. I like older people that still have spunk and she most certainly still has it in spades.

  6. I love your story, you sweet heart.

    1. I'm not always sweet, but it was easy with those old folks.

  7. Unconditional.
    Will surprise people. ;)

  8. The most noble work because it ennobles those who do it.

  9. Such a lovely story, Janie. You have a kind heart. ♥

  10. Oh I was waiting to hear her say "Yes please, I want a sandwich". And then not eat it. :D When someone has a good heart they recognise one in someone else.

    1. She never wanted a snack, but we became very close for other reasons.

  11. Oh Dear I am in tears !
    You are a wonderful soul.

  12. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

    Love is doing the same thing over and over and HOPING for a different result.

    It's why Love often makes us crazy.



Got your panties in a bunch? Dig 'em out, get comfortable, and let's chat.