I made friends at central venous care class today. Sitting in a roomful of people learning to care for loved ones with cancer is...
Sheila has been married for 56 years. She thinks it's disgraceful that her grandson went to a fancy school and still can't spell. She's been with her husband since she was 16. They married at 18. He's always been a hard worker. They have seven acres and he mows most of it himself. He got a sinus infection that wouldn't go away. It's leukemia. He's so sick now, and she can't quite get her mind around that. It doesn't seem real. When the nurse began to teach us about changing dressings, she said, "I'm feeling very scared about this. I don't know if I can do it."
Walker has been married for 42 years. His mother taught him to sew and knit. That came in handy when he was in the navy. The other guys paid him to sew things on their uniforms. He made extra money off the fighters as they tended to bloody their insignia and were thus repeat customers. He was scandalized when I couldn't tell him the capitol of South Dakota.
Walker: (stern and school-teachery). Wrong state.
Me: (winning smile) Some place cold?
Walker: (chuckling) Well, yes.
He figures I can probably read and write okay since I graduated from A&M. He has absolute confidence in M.D. Anderson but open disdain for the clinic near his home where his wife goes for blood draws.
Walker to nurse: You are very intelligent, but the folks at __________? (raised eyebrows and stern look) I'm bringing her back here. She's very sick.
He asked who was sick in my family.
Me: It's my husband.
Walker: (tears and pursed lips). You are very young.
There's just something about the sympathy of the elderly. It makes me feel like a little girl with a busted knee getting a strong hug from her father.
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