Far Away

I accompanied my care home client (I will call her M) to a dental appointment this morning. She wasn’t looking forward to riding in the back of a van with her wheelchair instead of being able to drive/ride like she used to, so I sat up front and acted like her chauffeur, cheesy accent and all. The driver went along with it with me for the most part, in between rants about the Canadian justice system (“In Africa, someone molests child, he disappear. We send him away to some place, never see him again. None of this letting them out bullshit!”). M laughed a lot, which is one of my favourite things to see and hear.

On Tuesday when I last saw her, M had mentioned that the home had organized a trip to the movies for a group of residents that evening. Today I asked how it went and if she enjoyed herself. She told me she wasn’t quite sure how she felt about it. I asked why, and she answered, “Well it was really loud. There were these great big talking turtles, and I’ve never seen so many smashed cars in my life!” I swear, I almost died laughing. I said, “Oh my gosh, M! They took you to see the new Ninja Turtles movie?!” And she goes, “Is that was it was? *puts her hand on her eyes and shakes her head* Well, I don’t know whose idea it was, but I’ve had enough of going to the movies for awhile after that one, let me tell you.” This woman is delightful.

After her dentist appointment I asked if she was ready to go back and if I should call our driver to come get us. With one of the saddest looks I’ve ever seen on a person’s face, M said very quietly, “I don’t want to go back there… Do you have time to go for lunch?” Of course I did. We went for a nice long one, and she insisted on paying.

Once we got back to M’s room at the home, I got a warm damp cloth and wiped some food off her chin for her, somehow a little had evaded her napkin at lunch. I got her jacket off and settled her in in front of her TV (“I like to watch that judge lady in the afternoons.”), and told her I’d see her next week. When I said that, I was surprised at how far away next week felt to me, in terms of when I will see her again. I’m still surprised. I both hope and don’t hope it feels far away for her too.

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