Friday, May 23, 2008

And in this corner...

I swear I don't have any favorites. Really. I don't. I love ALL our residents. There are, however, those few who seem to touch my heart at a little deeper level than others. Gladys is one of them.

Gladys has early stage Alzheimer's. Her short term memory is shot, but her beautiful and loving personality has remained in tact. She will tell me ten times within one hour that she likes my dress, but always with a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face. She loves people.

She also loves to put things in her purse. Butter pats. Crackers. Empty make-up containers. A million kleenex. You name it, it could be in her purse. It is packed full of, well, everything but the kitchen sink.

A while back, Gladys forgot her purse after Exercise Class. A couple of the ladies (read: old hens) saw the purse and seized their opportunity. Operating under the ruse of returning the purse to Gladys at her apartment, they made a quick side-trip to one of their own apartments.

As I rounded the corner, I could sense the mischief. Just picture this! Two ladies, both in their late eighties. Flushed pink cheeks, whispering, and giggling like a couple of sixth-grade girls who just called the local tavern asking to have Hugh Jass paged. "What are you two up to," I ask. More laughter. I think one of them might actually have a stroke or something. They say they are just returning Gladys' purse. More laughing. "Why are you laughing so much?" I ask. Finally, the less mischeivous of the two spills the beans.

They had taken the purse and put it on the bathroom scale. Total weight: 8 pounds.

Gladys is 91 years old, and probably weighs about the same as her age. I am most impressed with her athleticism. Seriously, she takes that purse EVERYWHERE. It's like doing 8-pound hand weights all day long!

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