We can either laugh or cry about most things that happen, and for what it’s worth, this time I’ll choose the laughter.
Thump! Thump! Thump! “Help! Someone come in here right now! Why won’t anyone help me?” Thus began my day with sweet Miss Marigold. She had disposed of her call light in preference of making a racket by banging anything she could grab on the floor to get attention. “Gonna be a fun day….” I thought, walking over to her room. She was leaning forward in her recliner, one hand clutching her makeshift alarm. In her other hand was her precious purse, which was packed with an assortment of crumpled tissues, two hairbrushes, a handful of Hershey’s kisses, and an audio clock which seldom reported the correct time.
Miss Marigold was blind, and so I made sure to announce my presence clearly and early. “Hello Miss Marigold, what’s the matter?” She looked over in my direction with an indignant expression. “They stole my chair again! Those scoundrels are always taking my things, get them out of here!”
Ah, the little men were back. From her frequent descriptions of them, I imagined the imps to be something like Santa’s elves in size and appearance. Miss Marigold would often see them in her room, getting into her drawers and closet. Sometimes when I helped her up to the bathroom they would strike while we were gone, and take her chair up to the top of a nearby hill. Of course, her chair was always in the same place; it hadn’t been moved more than a foot since the day she arrived here six months ago. Despite this, the chances were slim that she would accept my outlandish claim that the chair behind her was indeed her chair.
Notwithstanding all that, I did try. Blunt explanations rarely worked on their own, so my conversations with her usually morphed into a blend of truth and play-acting.
“Your chair is right here, I promise.”
“Are you sure? You know they’re very tricky. I think you should call the
“Well just sit down for now, I’ll get help looking for your chair as soon as I can.”
“Oh thank you! I do appreciate you, thank you so much for helping me, I
hope you find it soon!”
“Me too, Miss Marigold.” (More than you know…)
Back to today’s particular crisis. It was worse than usual. Those rascals had taken her chair and ran with it with no intention of returning, and nothing I said would convince her of the contrary. I didn’t know what I was going to do, there was no mention of elves and chairs in my nursing assistant textbook. I had learned how to fold a washcloth just so, but the last time I encountered a dilemma like this was years ago when I fixed a three-year-olds’s truck with “blue goop”. Actually that might not be such a bad strategy…
Necessity is the mother of invention, and there are times when if you really can’t beat them, you might as well join up. “Come on Miss Marigold, we’re going to look for your chair.” I said, setting her walker in front of her. At the count of three we were up and on our way, on the hunt for her stolen property. I guided her across the room towards the door and hallway. “Do you see it yet?” she inquired, peering over at me anxiously. “Not yet, but we’re not done looking yet you know.” We left the room, and I led her slowly in an arc until we were headed back through her doorway. “Just a little more Miss Marigold.” She followed my lead shuffling along slowly.
We came closer and closer until finally the chair was at her side. Here goes, please God let this work…“Oh look, here’s your chair! Why don’t you have a seat, you must be tired.” Her eyes widened and her face lit up with a smile as she reached back for the armrests and settled down contentedly. “Thank you, thank you! I’m so glad we found it!” she said. I smiled and said goodbye and told her I’d be back later on.