My spring schedule has made it difficult to make regular visits to the nursing home. I'm hopeful that things will become predictable enough in the near future, and we'll all stay healthy enough for me to return to regular visits. This resolve is especially firm after today's visit with a lady at the home.
Allow me to give a little review on my history with this venture. I planned to volunteer and expected to spend time with people only marginally aware of my presence in order to help allay a few moments of loneliness felt by one or two people. Once I first visited, my expectations changed based on the specific person I was arranged to visit. She was fascinating and energetic and educated. Turns out she was not interested in me. So, I moved on to other people who would be less offended by my presence, and with this, it turns out my first expectations were more accurate. Don't get me wrong. The person I typically visit with now is just as interesting and educated, but her condition is more of what I expected - she is mostly aware of my presence but her loneliness and boredom is bigger than an hour a week. Still, I'm glad that for an hour a week she feels like more than a resident in a nursing home.
Today's visit was more positive than one we had a couple of weeks ago. We spent it looking at her calendar, which was made for her by her children. She repeated several times, an astonishment that she is still alive in 2011, although she can't remember with confidence what year she was born. She's an avid reader who currently has no desire to read. Of that, she said, "I should be unhappy, but I'm not. Guess I'm just content with nothingness."
All that to say, my resolve is refreshed. I actually enjoy the time spent in her presence. I think it's mutual, so that helps. Each time I leave, I have been surprised that I don't feel depressed. I feel a sense of overwhelming gratitude for the spring breeze and the ability to drive.