“Mrs. Anderson? Can I help you with something? Who are you looking for?”
“Did Arnold just walk through here?”
“No I haven’t seen Arnold today. Sorry.”
“Okay, well will you tell him I’m looking for him when you see him?”
“Sure will.” I went along with her.
There actually wasn’t an “Arnold” here, Arnold was her husband who passed away years ago, but she refuses to accept it. Mrs. Anderson nodded at my response and turned, gliding back to her room in her flower printed night gown with pink slippers to match. I leaned back in my chair staring at Mr. Bowman and Mrs. Jenkinson rocking side by side in their wooden rocking-chairs. They had been at it for hours, surveilling the automatic sliding entrance door open and close. I smiled then turned to see if Mrs. Anderson had reached her room yet. Giggling to myself I watched her stop and stare at Mrs. Gruden. Mrs. Gruden had a cleaning service for over thirty years, and due to her head injury she still thinks its her job. She takes the liberty of continuing to go into residents rooms’ and clean. She often comes to the front desk for cleaning supplies and does the public living areas too. No madder how many times we tell her we have a cleaning staff and don’t worry about it, she continues to do it anyways.
I snapped out of it, and turned my attention ahead of me.
“Yes? How can I help you?”
“Can you please tell me what room Don Bradley is in?”
I shook the mouse to my computer and opened up the Catalog of residents.
“Are yall related?”
“Oh no, I’m just coming to speak with him.”
I gave the visitor a smile and went back to my computer.
“Lets see… Oh here he is, Don G. Bradley.” I dragged my index finger across the screen to his room number.
“B 433.” I wrote it down on a post it for her as I gave her verbal directions.
I watched her walk down the hall with a bible hanging from her right hand. I knew when a non-relative visited with a bible in hand, meant someone was close to “going”.
I turned my attention back on Mr. Bowman and Mrs. Jenkinson, they were taking a nap. Those two, they act like their husband and wife, do everything together. Sometimes they even walk down the hallways together, hand in hand. We’ve even caught them sleeping together, claim their in love. Oh well, long as their happy.
It was five o’clock and visiting time was over. I said goodbye with a smile to all the visitors walking out. Some crying, some smiling, some talking with their relatives, “I think she looks great.” “I’m glad he remembered me today.” The lady with the bible was the last one to leave. With a sad glance she looked up at me and said, “take care”, and with a half-smile I gave a little wave. I was assuming from her rejoinder it didn’t go so well. After a few minutes I left my desk, and went to wake up Mr. Bowman and Mrs. Jenkinson for dinner.
“Okay guys, time to wake up for your favorite meal!”
“Mr. Bowman”, I tapped on his shoulder, “wake up buddy.”
“Mrs. Jenkinson, I know you hear me, come on you’ve had your nap.”
My heart started beating fast. I gave Mr. Bowman a harder nudge.
“Mr. Bowman, this isn’t funny.”
“Come in here quick!”
“It’s them.” I pointed with my finger. “Their not waking up.”
Jason checked Mr. Bowman’s pulse. He looked at me and shook his head. Then he checked Mrs. Jenkinson’s, another bad head-nod. My heart stopped.
Then the person who I least expected to be on the scene was there, Mr. Don Bradley. He limped over to the “couple”, said a few words to himself, looked up at us and said, “Its okay, they went home to be with the Lord.”
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