Thursday Favorite Things…

Today I am participating in a blog hop. You are quite welcome to stop over at Katherine’s and join us. We would love to have you.

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One of my favorites, in honor of one of the ladies that inspired me to write the post.  I cannot wait to have tea with her in Heaven. (If I am lucky enough to get there.)

                                                 “Forgotten Women” 

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I am thinking today of some forgotten women.  It is because of my ‘day’ job that I am thinking of these otherwise forgotten women. I work with the elderly, many of them on Hospice.

They were good wives, daughters, sisters and friends to someone. Some of them have blazed the path for all of us, and became the first female doctors, lawyers and business owners.

I think also of the long ago stay-at-home women that once lived glorious happy hour, dinner party lives and were the leaders of the wood- sided station wagon brigade and served as the heart of their families.

I think of a woman that lives in a ‘too do’ retirement community.  She was for 30 years the mistress of a ‘big name’ political figure.  She was also a doctor. Today she lives in fear of the outside world and is on a mission to accumulate enough food for Armageddon.

I think of a woman, who took care of her terminally ill sister and then her aging parents, never taking a minute to complain or have a life of her own.  She now lives with dementia and a senile old dog. She is scared of death, strokes, fires and burglars.

I am thinking of a one-hundred and one year-old socialite who believes and will debate you on the subject for hours that America went to hell in a hand basket the minute we sent girls to college.

I think of a stubborn, ninety-seven year old, southern belle who was the ‘woman’ behind her very successful man, raised two very successful children and still lives on her own within a retirement community.  She kicks my butt power walking every time.

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I think of a woman who worked through the war and then supported her husband through school.  That man went on to become a very successful retailer.  He worked so hard to give his wife and children the world he ended up in an early grave.  This woman now lives in one of the worst ‘facilities’ I have ever seen. [I did not say it was the cheapest, its not.]

I think of another woman with a drop-dead gorgeous home, glorious gardens and a closet full of designer clothing.  She worked as a volunteer, her entire life. She cannot remember her name.  Her husband, who is deaf, screams at her because she cannot remember how to run the washing machine, and she cowers in fear.  I suspect he has always been abusive.

I think of a mother with dementia living in a nursing home.  She whines to her daughter. “I just do not understand why they always hit me.”  The daughter questions the staff and she is told it is he mother’s dementia.  The daughter purchases a nanny cam and she is completely wracked with guilt when the images clearly show the aides had been hitting and torturing her mother.

In facilities all over America, there are amazing mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers.  They were placed in these facilities by well meaning family members.  In the beginning, the family visits often.  Then life gets in the way, the new normal sets in and the visits become more and more infrequent.  When they visit again and find Mom rocking in the corner and peeing in her shoes, they call me, or someone like me to ‘spend time’ with their loved one.

This ‘day’ job breaks my heart every day.  It is also such a blessing.  Whatever or wherever these women came from one thing is for certain, they all have their own   stories to tell.  Stories of scarlet fever outbreaks, slavery, world fairs, their first ride in an automobile, the first time they used a telephone or watched television. They speak with wonder of the installation of plumbing and electric in their homes.  They talk of the summer days they wandered around fields or lie in the grass for hours daydreaming of their futures.

If you told me five years ago, I would be spending my days caring for elderly incontinent women with Alzheimer’s, dementia or some other ‘mental’ condition I surely would have laughed.

My ‘girlfriends’ may not remember my name or their own name for that matter but they always remember I wrote a book.  They share that information with everyone in hearing distance.

I will never forget these special women, with whom I have shared my deepest secrets with and in return, they have shared their rich history with me.  A special place has been born in my heart for these forgotten women of yesterday who have given me priceless advice and taught me so much about life and myself.

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

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4 Responses to “Thursday Favorite Things…”

  • Hey Friend,
    Your blog post on “Forgotten Women” was truly inspiring, real, mesmerizing and enlightening all at the same time. The stories touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Women are truly special and are deserving of every ounce of love, care and affection. Thank you for remembering and caring for these precious souls.

  • a lovely tribute post. Thank you for joining in the fun at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop xo

  • I’m sure yours is not an easy job; but, from experience, it has some very satisfying moments. Thank you for doing what you do.

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