Monday, November 19, 2007

NEWS, and a Monday Memory

Revisions (#2) are finished! My agent is a genius. I had so much fun with this. Keep your fingers crossed we can start submitting this baby soon. Maybe I can get back to my NaNo monster now?

Yesterday was Family Day at the nursing home. Again, there were Very Few Families to be seen. Do these people NOT have families, or do the families simply never show up for these things. An enormously depressing thought.

Picture a room jammed full of seniors in wheelchairs; an elderly "deejay" playing polkas and big band music on his keyboard; aides passing around cider and, well, some kind of fluffy-doughed treats with meat in the middle (never did figure out what it was, but I ate it, of course); and one lively lady pushing her walker around in cicles, shuffling her feet in time to the music. She does that at all these parties. She's the only one.

Grandma and BFF Miss R. wisecracked, as usual, while Miss R. kicked her legs up and down from her perch on her rollater. I noticed half-hearted clapping in time to the music. A few smiles here and there. Nodding heads. Gnarled fingers tapping the tables. The occasional snore from the few residents who slept through the whole thing. The activities dude raced from wheelchair to wheelchair in an attempt to get the (mostly unimpressed) residents involved.

In our corner, we were pretty lively--I spiced the "party" up even more by snapping candid pictures with my cell phone and then passing it around. Hysterical! Grandma has what I call a Gumby face--she can stretch it into the funniest expressions imaginable. Miss R. is a wild woman! Trust me, these two feisty old broads RULE that nursing home.

This is not a "Monday Memory," exactly. But that room yesterday was filled with other people's memories. Every tune they played held a special meaning for someone. Music they danced to in the past with their long-dead, sorely missed spouses. Songs they sang to their children as they tucked them into bed.

And I know what many of them thought as they sat, trapped in their wheelchairs, sipping apple cider, eyes vacant and lonely above the timid, shaky smiles.

They thought: Where is my family? Why I am sitting here all alone?

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