By Dorothy DAnnunzio
I believe a person benefits from having multiple generations in their life.
The elderly can teach us so much and can be very entertaining. I never knew any of my grandparents, so when a friend asked me to be the morning caregiver to her 95-year-old mother Margie, I didn’t hesitate.
Margie was a stickler for punctuality, so I always made sure I was a few minutes early. Most mornings she would still be in bed when I arrived and I hated to wake her. But once she got her bearings and recognized me, there was always a big smile on her face.
If Margie was anything, she was grateful. Every day she would tell me she didn’t know what she would do without me. She thought I was perfect, which of course I am not. But it was nice to hear!
After getting her out of bed, I would begin to get Margie dressed. She was so cute doing in her morning routine. The center seam in her pants had to be just right. Her lipstick went into the right pocket and her nighttime pills went into a little red bottle in her left pocket. Her morning pills would be in a small box on the table next to her chair, to be taken after eating breakfast. After putting on the rest of her clothes, putting her hearing aids in, her wig on and finally her glasses, she never failed to ask if she looked okay. I always said the same thing. “You look beautiful. You’re ready for your audience.” She would smile and ask me to never stop telling her that.
Once she was all put together, we would sit and talk before breakfast. Margie always wanted to know what the weather was going to be that day. If I was wearing sandals, she would look at my feet and say they were the prettiest she had ever seen and wished her feet were that pretty. I would ask her to tell me a story and she would sit back in her chair and laugh and talk about the memories of family and life on the farm as a child.
At 7:25 a.m., it was time to make our way to the dining room. Margie lived in a senior community where they had assigned seating in the dining room. Her table had an empty spot, so she and the other two ladies invited me to join them. After several days, I was told that I could not sit at the table, but had to wait in the common area. Margie was appalled. She fussed and fussed to no avail. Then I got a phone call from Margie’s daughter telling me everything was handled for me to join Margie at breakfast.
As Margie and I went in the next morning, she told me to walk in like I owned the place. That turned out to be our last trip together to the dining room. That night Margie went into the hospital and never came home. Four days later she was gone, leaving behind a family that loved her and many good friends. I am a better person for knowing her. Thanks Margie for letting me be a part of your life.