She was in a wheelchair when I first saw her. According to my eye, she couldn’t have been a whole lot older than me (I’m 62). What circumstances brought her to be a patient in this skilled nursing facility I was at, visiting my 87 year old father, I don’t know.
Her hair is what first caught my attention. Flawless – a perfect light grey, almost white – the color that some these days will throw a few hundred bucks at or more to attain.
She was slowly wheeling herself down the hall, looking for someone on the nursing staff. A speech therapist walked by her, recognized her and asked, “Elise, what can I help you with? I’m Mary, your speech therapist.”
“I just want to go and get a taste of the outdoors”, Elise told the therapist.
It was a cold and dreary day. Not too cold but cold enough for one to appreciate the warmth provided by being indoors. Elise was just looking for a kind soul to take her to breath in a bit of fresh air, whether cold or warm…just a breath of nature.
She was dressed to perfection – dark navy sweater with a complimentary dark navy, white polka-dotted scarf tucked neatly around her neck. A dark brown wool blanket was draped over her lap.
“I’ll find someone to help you,” the therapist told her, giving her a gentle squeeze of her hand as she went off to find someone to help.
I was sitting in a chair in the hallway, wondering if I should just take it upon myself to honor Elise’s request. But one of the resident angels (nurses) came along smiling.
“Just a little trip outdoors, right, Elise,” she asked.
“Yes, I’d just like to get a taste of the outdoors, if that’s okay,” she politely replied.
Elise may have been an angel herself, if her mannerly and soft-spoken voice was any indication. Maybe a singer, maybe a model, maybe a brilliant engineer – I had no idea. But I instantly recognized the look of joy on her face when the nursing angel turned her wheelchair and headed for the front door.
In this ugly age, when companies are now banning employees from giving each other a hug, and encouraging them to “rat” each other out if they suspect another employee of having an office romance, an affair, or even sharing a taxi ride – as the powers who shouldn’t be continue with their attempt to make the human experience as dreadful, fearful and uninspiring as possible – they will not succeed as long as there are those who relish the kind and loving touch of another – no matter how goodness, innocence, and kindness is perverted. These shysters of today haven’t the foresight to understand that one day, not so long from now, they too will be asking for an angel to assist them and more than likely it will be human touch they seek.
As Elise passed by me, the nursing angel was gently guiding the wheelchair down the hall with one hand, holding Elise’s hand with the other. A simple request for human touch and kindness and bit of nature’s gifts honored – Elise was all smiles! 🙂
Tonight’s musical offering:
Rachmaninov ~ Piano Concerto No. 2 ~ 2nd movement
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Photo credit: http://www.unsplash.com/@anniespratt