I did a comedy show last year at an Assisted Living facility on Long Island. It wasn't for the residents, it was a room rented out by a Rotary group. It looked like it was going to be running a little late, so before the show, I wandered around the lobby of the facility. It smelled damp and a little moldy. Residents were roaming around, some just sitting and staring into space. It looked and felt very depressing. I wondered if this is the kind of place I would end up in. If so, I hope I still have the energy to have a little fun with these folks.
( I am that guy)
Anyway, back to the story...
An old feeble woman came up to me and started speaking in a thick Italian accent. She said "mi famiglia, they are coming to visit me today". She started to describe some members of her family. One of the girls who worked at the front desk came over and said to the woman, "come on, lets take you back now". She turned to me and told me the old woman was confused and slowly took her away. I stuck around the lobby area for a bit and the girl returned. I asked her what the story was. she chuckled a bit and said "she's a little crazy, she hasn't had any visitors in years. She tells everyone her family is coming".
I thought this was the saddest thing I ever heard.
After a bit of coersion, I was able to get the name and room number of the woman. The next day, I sent her some flowers with a note that read, "from your loving family". I don't know how that ended up, but I just felt like I had to do something.
It made me wonder how many other people wind up in these situations. How many people hold grudges and drift away from family members only to wind up alone.
Thanksgiving and Christmas is right around the bend. Don't forget to call or visit an older person who may be in the situation this woman is.
Sorry to bring everyone down on a Friday.
Have a nice weekend.