(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.