Friday, June 4, 2010

The Dunce

As I've written about before, my cousin had to make one of the most difficult decisions ever and put her father into a home.

It was more difficult than you could ever imagine...having to watch someone you love so confused, so upset, so heartbroken - and then there was my cousin feeling the same intense wave of emotions, yet from the completely oppospite perspective.

Although he settled in with such ease that it almost had us dumbfounded - there were definitely still issues.

The biggest one being that he was in a 'secure' ward - locks in, locks out, no way to get out...but it also meant that the people there were REALLY out of it. They HAD to be in the locked unit, they were so completely out of it that we encountered many...crazy situations. He's now been moved - but the people on that floor..the ones who have no idea who THEY are, let alone who I was - are still some of the sweetest people I've ever seen. Sweet - but man, they were FULL of the crazy.

There was one who wandered the halls and would just follow you around - which was pretty normal for that floor.

Then there was Edith who would take my hand, kiss it and try to take me for a walk...and when she wasn't doing this...she would 'patrol' the halls - watching everyone and everything...once she came up to us - asked what we were doing, said 'okay, fine - send it off RIGHT AWAY!' and took off shuffling down the hall.

There were the girls - Katherine and Sadie - who giggled and gossiped with each other and would wander around the halls with their walkers and their purses, discussing where they would go today - 'oh would you like to go to the garden? Or we could watch a movie? Perhaps we should get a cup of tea this afternoon before dinner' etc. etc. and then they'd go and ask what time it was and flitter about doing their daily tasks while wandering around chatting with each other waiting for meal times or bath times or whatever else they were waiting for..

Then there was Irene.

She wandered around trying to cuddle with you, talking or singing to you in a high pitched voice through her missing teeth.

She had my heart - but that could be because whenever she saw me she'd sing "beaaaaaaautiful laaaaaaaaaaaady....i loveeeeeeee the laaaaaaaaaaaaady...what a wonderfuuuuuuul laaaaaaaaaaaady...i loveeeeeee the laaaaaaaaaaaady' while she took my hand and tried to get me to go somewhere, anywhere with her...haha

But one day...I was standing in the hall with my friend Jenn, minding my own business...waiting for my cousin and uncle to catch up with me as we were taking him out for the afternoon...and this woman in a wheel chair who I had never heard say ANYTHING even when she was asked questions or spoken to comes up and looks at us and then exclaims "you're just standing around like a bunch of dunces...dunce dunce dunce...why are you standing around like a big old dunce'

And then rolled off and about as if nothing ever happened...while we stood there wondering what the heck had happened...and what exactly a dunce stood like.

Oh the special care floor...what a bunch of characters.

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