Beautiful, Beautiful

(On March 31)

Went by to see Esther today at the Nursing Home today.  I didn’t recognize her.  I kept looking at other people, thinking maybe I just had her name wrong, and that I would see this spry, spirited woman smile at me in recognition.

Instead a saw a much older looking woman, gaunt, sad-looking, with vacant eyes.  I tried to talk to her, but she just whimpered and moaned.  It was so difficult to believe it was her, that I started to leave, and then walked back in. I tried walking down the other hallways, to find some flash of recognition of her room and of what it was like last time I was there.  I began to wonder about my own memory. I felt a little lost.

I was assured that this was most likely the same woman I had seen three months earlier. She had gotten sick in January, and gone downhill quickly from then.

I am glad that I went today, though. I took flowers from our church to a member who is a shut-in there, one that I hadn’t met before.  She happened to be a cousin to the lady I sang duets with, when we did the impromptu singing on Christmas Eve (which was when I met Esther). So the whole experience tied in well together.  I was randomly given that card, so it was a nice surprise.

I think I will print out “Strangers No More” and put it in a card, and take some flowers for Esther tomorrow, when our choir group goes to sing there.  She won’t recognize me, and I doubt that she will remember me.  I will always remember, though, how she touched my life that Christmas Eve, when I played violin, and she said, “Beautiful, beautiful” in response.

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