Friday, February 26, 2010

Anywhere else, we'd call it "Over Sharing"

There's something rather refreshing about working in the dementia unit. When you work with people at the end of their lives, it's remarkable how all the burdens of propriety are shed as time grows short.

I was visiting a facility to see a patient of mind only to meet another resident who was from Germany. I asked her where she was from in Germany and her response was "Hof" ... the town just down the road from where Beloved Husband lived when he worked in Germany for a manufacturing company. We talked about Hof and she invited me to her wedding (she invites everyone to her wedding ... and it's always on Saturday). I asked her if we would smash plates (a local custom in Hof) and she said, "Sure! I have three cases of plates." I promised to join her for the party and the wedding.

This week, I returned to the facility and saw this resident again. She asked me if I would come to her wedding, and I assured her I would. She then said she didn't want to come to America, but she did because her son called her from Waynesboro to tell her Karl was with him (in Waynesboro). She said, "Karl?! You mean the man who took my virginity?" ... Um ... yeah, that Karl.

Anywhere else, we'd call this "over sharing" ... in the dementia ward, it's just another day of reminding ourselves that these elders of ours had a life that was far more colorful than we give them credit for having!

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