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.
"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.