My computer is filled with images of Jessica. Candids and group shots alike as chronicled by the various events, activities, and random moments of living over the last six months. I found myself scrolling through them earlier and now I struggle with the question: am I capturing life, creating memories with my omnipresent camera or am I chronicling death?
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Wall to Wall.”
The Pantone Color of the Year was has never been the color paint on the walls of my living space. Of course, the walls of my living space are not mine to paint. I can hang things on them. I haven’t. Not sure if there is a “Yet” to be added as a modifier to the previous statement. A tall dressers, a bookcase, a desk, and a general storage unit that was marketed under the “TV Stand with media storage” heading serve to fill wall space pretty well. Moreover, I’m able to strike a balance between showing some personal belongings and utilizing the drawers, shelving space, and various organizational essentials (in interesting shapes and colors) to private things from being on display. This feels important because living in an assisted living facility, privacy is really but an illusion.
To stand and do a 360, one gets a god general overview of the essence of me: I’ve got a PowerPort that is accessed 24/7, so there is quite a bit of medical supplies and I.V. equipment tucked around. I had to move here and either bring, store it, of lose it, so I’ve more life in here than most other residents. But then and again, I have to manage my own life still, so a base of operations is essential.
The wall of my room are safe. You want to know me, try gaining access to my digital world. The various screens on my iPads, laptop, phone, my playlists, photos (and the organizational structure therein), the people I’ll accept as friends on social networks and then the access to information assigned to various groups, even which emails rank VIP, flagged, junk, or standard status will tell you much more about me than anything I’d ever display for anyone to see who may just happen by one day.
I think, in fact, the beige walls paint the truth of willingness to disclose to those who know me well and paint the perfect picture of my complete lack of interest in engaging with the general public. Who knew….
If I’m going to use it in the title, I better link to the video–just in care an Dreaming in Digital sounded famililar.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Cupid’s Arrow.” In memory of Barbara, the Queen Bee of our Beehive Dearest Barbara, Shimmery are these words, they’re written through the kind of teary eyes marked by profound sadness and privileged humility. The matriarch of two families, that’s how we’ll measure you. Your children and their…
My blog posts get precious few veiws in a day. Or week. To those of you who continue reading, commenting and/or following my, thank you. Perhaps you have noitced that the general theme of my posts has been less than conversational. Im feeling less than chatty these days. I’ve got lot on my mind. Can’t…
When I read Dusty’s post from January 15, Creating an Online Presence Today For, Tomorrow, I immediately wanted to be her friend She’s here working on polishing her grammar and style and (has??) had a slight love/hate relationship with both. I very much appreciate her drive; but moreover, it’s her headstrong, I-can-learn-it-from-a-book attitude I dig: Well, I…
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First Light.”
After she finished eating breakfast, one of the caregivers walked Jessica to my room, pulled my desk chair right next to my bed, and helped her settle into it. Jessica was smiling so brightly too, seeing me and how I was sitting in bed with photos and papers spread over me. She thought I was hard at work. I was, but not doing the kind of work she thought–not the kind of work anyone wants to do. The photos and papers were being readied for pickup to go off to the hospital where we hoped the recipient would recognize a face or two, but I knew they were all more for the family at this point. But my task at hand was of utmost importance: I was to tell Jessica that her best friend was not coming back from the hospital. I’d made subtle hints earlier in the week to see how she would react and cope. Jessica and Sally truly completed each other and with Jessica still recovering from a stroke, Sally’s absence is more profound.
As She sat in front of me, giving my hand a little kiss, she noticed the picture I had out for her to write a little something on the back. She quickly commented that she had that picture. She did. We made a copy of it for Sally to write a little note on it when Jessica was way in rehab following her stroke. It had cheered them both up mightily. So with the photo in one hand, my hand in her other hand, and two of our caregivers standing quietly behind her, torn at wanting to give us privacy and wanting to be there for me, I took a deep breath, blinked back the tears from my eyes (and my voice), and began.
“Jessica, Sally, you know your friend in that picture, the one you’ve been missing. She isn’t coming back to us.” My words were met with a confused look. I tried again, this time my voice cracking. “She’s too sick. The Cancer, it’s too bad and she won’t ever come back here.” This time my words hit. I hated every second of it. My selfish self. In her wise ways she replied, following an exclamation of surprise, that you “never know when it going to be your turn.” And then she asked who the woman in those pictures was and I had to all but begin the whole process again. The caregivers, who had been quietly wiping away tears the whole time had to leave at this point.
I managed to get Jessica to write on the back of the picture and I had to tell her three or four more times about Sally not returning. I have to try again. To find some way for this sweet lady to connect the dots that the woman in the picture is Sally and that Sally is the friend she misses and who has the room she’ll wander over to during the day and just look at as if waiting for Sally to walk out.
I arranged for a delivery of flowers for Jessica today. She loves flowers and is such a modest country girl, I knew a florist fresh arrangement would tickle her. She was delighted and she kept telling me, and everyone else, I got them for her, but she didn’t do anything to deserve them. The world could use more Jessica’s. Although it was, it continues to be, a difficult task, I should feel privileged that Sally’s family asked me to tell Jessica. The heart is tender and I was entrusted to do my best to hold her’s safe while delivering a personal message from a family who loved her so much they needed her to know. They needed her to know while they hole vigil with Sally at the hospital.
I’m the only one in the building who knows the bulk of the reality. It’s a heavy load. Not the fact that I’m the keeper of such important and private news, but that I’m stuck here, helpless to do anything to help a family I’ve grown to love. I tell myself that being on the…
I take these ten minutes now, and with Aloe Blacc’s mellifluous voice singing harmony and carrying the creative weight of this piece, to say: Mamma Hold My Hand. My life is only what you’ve seen.
I’ve learned it’s best to sit and watch, listen more than talk, smile with my eyes as much as my mouth, and always, ALWAYS, be prepared to photograph the mundane. A candid shot of mundane in my world is often an action shot to someone’s son or daughter. Proof of life being lived or comfort…