Thursday, January 28, 2010

papered synapses

I work in a nursing home.

This job, in the almost two months that I've had casual work there, has been baffling, challenging, incredible.

- I've held an ancient woman's hand as she trembled and vomited from seizure.

- I've philosophized over the incredible and amazing behaviour of the very elderly; the people group largely hidden from most youth.

- I've been on my hands and knees, showering a woman who had spent the night on the cold floor in her own waste.

I can't believe elderly people! They are like babies. Except, older.

They like attention, and will use crocodile tears to gain it. They (mostly) crave physical attention...hugs, cuddles, etc. - which wears me out after a nine hour shift.

One woman has been the exception to this. She is blind, and very, very proud. I liked her a lot at first, but after a series of negative conversations, I'm finding it harder.

I entered her room, and humming, set about getting her clothes ready.

Me: How are you going today?

She: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Me:(puzzled by question)I'm not sure. But I'd love to do something where I could love and help people.

She: (pauses) Well, you'll never make it as a nurse.

Me: (stunned) Why would you say that?

She: Because you sing, and you ask silly questions.

I began to silently cry...mainly because I was tired, and also because when you try hard and try and try and try, and get nowhere...or a kick in the ain't exactly uplifting.

I'm so often hungry for validation. But instead of going to the One who's validation matters, I chase after people.
"Validate me! Assure me I'm worth something. Assure me I'm not just a waste of space!"

I don't want to spend my last years in a nursing home, walking around in living death. My soul crawls at the very idea. I want to bring life to this job. I'm trying really hard to always be a kind face, and a gentle and encouraging word to the residents. I want to bring Life wherever I go. But not my own fake life, God's Life, God's Love. It's a remarkable opportunity, to train, and earn, and learn to persevere, and to love the lonely.

just some thoughts....

1 comment: