Instead of being anxious, I spent a little devotion time, remembering that I am not in control of what is happening. There is nothing that will happen today, that God is not already aware of. I can rest in His reassurance. When I arrived, church was going on in the activity room. Jerry didn’t go. He was tired. Sure enough, when I went through the doors to the back, I saw him sleeping on the sofa in the tv room. He was one of the only ones there...sitting up, just snoozing away. The minute I entered the room, his eyes opened. Confused and dazed, he still knew that a hug is always what we do. I wrapped my arms around his skinny body, we walked out of the room, but I could tell he needed some cleaning up a bit. His CNA and I walked back to his room to do the potty thing and get ready for our date.
For years, it was I who helped Jerry dress. This time I watched the whole procedure. I haven’t seen Jerry naked in quite some time. I realize he had lost weight, but this time, I saw the real deal. Jerry is six foot four inches and probably weighs 145lbs....at best. His little buttocks..is well... little. Just draping skin hanging over those bones. I only wish mine looked like that! Nonetheless, I saw how compliant he was. She knew exactly what to do. He knew exactly how to respond. He was like a little child, compliantly raising his arms to take off his shirt. She was gentle, patient, but playful. She kept his full attention. Never, once, did he balk at changing. I could tell he was very comfortable with her presence.
Once, they were finished in the bathroom, she brought him out to sit on the edge of the bed. She playfully handed him his socks...and one by one...she cut his toenails and helped those socks get on the feet. She put on his shoes...and encouraged him to tie them..but when he couldn’t, she’d say, “Good job. You’ve almost got it.” Then she’d tie them. There were no verbal sounds from him, just the sound of peace with what I was watching.
We did our usual outing. Stopped by the Dairy Queen for an Oreo blizzard. I only had cash, so we could only get one. Good for him. Good for me. Today, we parked by the yachts. I dozed with one eye open, making sure the ice cream didn’t go down his shirt. He listened to country music and ate. We were both very relaxed.
I think it helped that I met with Jerry’s roommate’s wife. We were able to share many stories and we both knew each other’s thoughts, even down to the concerns of our children. It was like salve to a wound, calming, and healing. Our lunch meeting, before visiting our husbands, prepared us for the visit. Both, on arrival, were able to smile with a weird sort of peace. Kind of had to be there. It’s “ must do” again.