The quieter you become the more you can hear ~ Ram Dass

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mrs. Dunkin #37

This is a continuing story.  To see the rest click here.  


I heard a commotion in the hallway and I got up to look.  Clara was sitting outside her room crying and I went to her.  “Are you all right” I asked.

“I think Helen’s passed.  I came down and I was going to talk to her and it didn’t look like she was breathing so I rang the bell.  They’re checking on her now.”

Kate came out and said “I’m so sorry Clara, Helen is gone.  You’ll have to stay out of the room until they come for her” and she gave Clara a hug.

“Come with me to my room Clara” and she followed me.   

“Would you like some water?”

“Yes thank you.  I don’t know why I’m so surprised.  I’ve known for months that this was going to happen.”

“Knowing it and believing it are two different things” I said.

“You’re right.  She’ll be at peace now.  She told before she got so sick that she didn’t want to linger.”

“I think most of us want that.”

“I know.  It’s just I’ll miss her so much” and she started to cry again.

I hugged Clara for dear life. 

The other ladies except Gladys started coming into the room.  

 “Kate told us about Helen, we’re so sorry” Nancy said. 

They all went up and gave Clara a hug.  

“Gladys didn’t come because she is getting her shower or I’m sure she would have been here too” Mildred said.

“That’s okay” Clara said.

“This might sound terrible to say right now but I’m going to hate having to get a new roommate.  They give it a couple of days and then move someone in.  It seems so cruel to me.”

“That would be terrible, I agree.  It’s like they don’t give the person left in the room time to grieve” Annie said.

“Clara, do you like me?”

“What kind of question is that Nancy?”

“Just answer the question Clara.  Do you like me?”

“Well, of course I like you.”

“How would you like to live with me?”

“What are you talking about?  You already have a roommate.”

“I’ve been thinking about asking for a room change for months.  I didn’t want to say anything but I don’t care much for my roommate.  Never did.  I was afraid though that if I moved to another room it might be with someone worse.”

“I would love that Nancy.  We’re friends.  If one of us is bugging the other we could tell each other to shut up or whatever with no hurt feelings” and they both laughed.

“Okay, if you’re sure.”

“I’m sure.”

“I’m going to go down right now to the social worker and have a little talk with her.  They are probably already planning who to move in with you, I’m sad to say.”

“Okay, Nancy.  Make sure you are insistent.  Tell her you and I talked about it.  If she doesn’t make it happen, I’ll be down there to talk to her.”

“All righty then” and Nancy left the room. 

Kate came into the room and said “They took Helen away, Clara.  It’ll be a couple of hours before you can get back in.  Is there anything I can do for you?”

“No thanks.  I’ve got my friends here.”  Kate left the room.   

“I hope the social worker gives Nancy the okay to move in with me.”

“I’m sure she will” Audrey said.  "I don’t see why she wouldn’t.”

“If there are any problems, we’ll ALL go down and talk to her” Mildred said and chuckled.

Cheryl came into the room pushing Gladys in.

“I’m so sorry Clara about Helen.  I just heard, you poor dear.”

“Thanks Gladys.  Even though she hasn’t been able to talk for the last few months, I loved her like a sister” and she started to tear up again. 

All the ladies stood up and hugged Clara. 

Gladys looked around Mary’s room and said, “You have a nice place.  I love your Christmas village.”

“Thanks, I really should start taking it down.”

“We’ll help you” Mildred said.  “Where are the boxes?”

“They are in the closet.”

Audrey went to the closet and pulled out the boxes and took them over by the window seat.  We all started taking them off.  We handed some to Gladys and Clara and they wrapped them in bubble wrap.  We packed them carefully in the box until they were all in.

“That went faster taking it down then putting them out.”

“Isn’t that the way it always is” Gladys said a little gloomily.

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