Naturally, I got up way too early the next morning. I hopped in the shower and went into the day-room. No one was there yet. I could see the aides going into the rooms to start getting people ready for the day. As I was starting to go the table, I could hear muffled crying. I walked down the other hall when I could hear it was coming from Fred’s room. I peeked in and he was sitting in a chair. I was trying to decide if I should go in or not when I heard “Hey, girlie.”
“Hello Fred, are you all right?”
“I miss my Eloise so much” and I walked into his room.
I sat on the chair next to him and grabbed his hand and said “I’m so sorry Fred. It is hard to lose a loved one” and he cried softly.
“I thought I could never live without her but the Good Lord had other plans for me. She’s been gone 10 long years now and he still must not want me.”
“Oh there, there now, he must have a good reason for keeping you here. It’ll be all right” and I got up and gave him a hug.
“You have a very nice room, Fred” trying to get his mind off things.
“I love the oil lamp.”
“Yeah, I’m not allowed to keep oil in it, safety hazard they say. That lamp was in my house when I was a kid; I’ve kept it all these years.”
“Why it’s a real antique then.”
“Yeah, just like me” and we both laughed. “Thanks for stopping by, I have to get ready for breakfast.”
“Oh okay, I hope we’ll be seeing you in the day-room today.”
“I’ll be there” and I walked out the door.
I could see the ladies were all at the table already with Clara just coming down the hallway. When she got to the table she said “Did I see you come out of Fred’s room” she said with a wink.
“Clara! Yes it was me. He’s was sad about his wife. You know he really is a very nice guy.”
“I just bet he is” and we all laughed.
“How are you doing today Clara” Nancy asked.
“I’m fine. It was lonely in the room. I can’t wait until you come Nancy.”
“That’ll be in the morning. Oh look, here come the trays.”
We started to eat when the activities director came up to the table and said “About 10 we’re going to be playing bingo. Anyone interested?”
We all said “Yes.”
“Good, we don’t have much of a crowd this morning. I wonder if everyone is getting tired of it.”
“Nah” Clara said. “I think it’s probably the letdown after the holidays, you know how that can be.”
“You are probably right. We’ll see you later ladies. Bye”
“That will be fun; I haven’t played it but that one time with you Clara. Time just seems to have flown by since I’ve come here.”
“So Nancy did you tell your roommate about you leaving? What did she say” Mildred asked.
“Nothing really, I don’t think she cared. Apparently, she didn’t care for me either” and she laughed.
“I wish Mildred and I could get a room in your wing. I think if we tried though we might get split up. They never have a whole room that needs two people.”
“It would be so fun if we could all be in the same wing” Clara said excitedly.
“I would love that. We’ll have to work on that to see if we can make that happen.”
“It’s only wishful thinking Gladys” Audrey said.
“Sometimes wishes come true” and when no one was looking Gladys gave Annie a little wink.
Nancy said “Yeah, who would have ever thought Clara and I would end up together. It could happen”
“Yeah” everyone said with renewed hope even Audrey.
We all decided to go back to our room, use the bathrooms and meet back in the day-room.
I was just starting to leave when the phone rang. “Mom” I heard Julie say. “I wanted to let you know Stella’s back in the hospital.”
“She is? What happened?”
“The pneumonia’s back. Her doctor called me. I’m going to be in the hospital this afternoon and I’ll check on her. I’ll call you tonight and tell you what I found out.”
“Okay, dear. Thanks for calling. Bye.” I went and sat on the rocker.
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