Friday, March 9, 2018

An hour at the retirement home

Yesterday at the retirement home on Kalakaua: A. wrote about her sadness at not being able to simply leave her condo and cross the street for food, and yearns for the days when "everything was ok." Her husband sits next to her wearing a golden medallion around his neck, his eyes empty. B. associates happiness with having her hearing aids turned on (showing not telling, you know). F.'s hair is done like that of a much younger person; there's as much lipstick between her lower lip and chin as there is on her mouth. Her uncle would hold his paralyzed wife's hand, feel how many squeezes to know what she wanted. He was taken away after December 7 to the mainland, his 12 year old daughter left with her mother. When her mother died, the girl was shipped off to the camp with her father. An old Asian woman (I always presume they're from Hawai'i, somehow), who is very deaf, spoke up to say that she'd grown up in St. Louis, in the only Asian family. They were not supposed to speak up, but the teachers asked them questions directly, because they always knew the answers. D, a white woman with long stringy hair, wrote a wonderful "memory card" according to my recipe. There were mudpies in it that didn't taste good, and a turnabout on taking care of her son who now cares for her. There was a question about "how much longer?" and then an overheard sentence about a woman who is pregnant. There's so much sadness, anger, humor, in the group, even if they rarely hear or follow directions.

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