Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: EMBARRASS(ED) (11/03/16)
TITLE: Lost Control
By Jennifer Woodley
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Seems to me that old Mr Joe, who’s always wearin’ that long, black trench coat, even when folks can fry eggs on the dashboard in summer, has been part of the fixtures ‘n fittings at Sunny Hills Nursin’ Home forever. And old Joe is anythin' but sunny. He’s cranky and cantankerous. I’ve been nursin’ him for I reckon close on twelve years. I don’t recall hearin’ two words of gratitude ever. And by golly he is bossy! He ain’t ever happy with no-one. Tellin’ ‘em all what to do and that they better hurry up and do it faster. Nothin’ ain’t good enough, hot enough, long enough, quick enough, or sure enough. My stars, with a grumpy humor like old Joe’s, nobuddy wants to be close to him. He ain’t got no friends here. He just hides behind his loneliness by gettin’ angrier with everyone.
Well one day things got bad for old Mr Joe, and from then on he got real different. He ain’t acting like he’s the boss. No sirree, old Mr Joe ain’t tryin’ to be in control anymore.
It started round lunchtime when I wheels him up to the table. Old Joe was grumblin’ ‘bout the shepherd’s pie. My stars, if the quiche weren’t too hot yesterday, the pie is too cold today. But nobuddy says nothin’ to try to pacify him. It ain’t no use anyways. So there I am fillin’ up Joe’s water glass, when old Joe begins shakin’ wildly and lettin' out a painful groan. I did nearly spill that whole water jug with fright. Joe was tremblin’ like a leaf on a blowy day in May. Then glory, he’s up and started cryin’ right at the table in front of everyone.
“Whats the matter Mr Joe?” I asks. But I knew. No mistaken that smell in a nursin’ home. Old Joe’s black trousers was all mussed up and he don’t know what to do. I never until then sees him embarrassed and awkward lookin’. Even though Mr Joe’s a helluva man to care for, right now, my heart is just bustin’ for his pain.
“Now Joe” I says while reachin' for a blanket, “you just don’t worry ‘bout nothin’. I’ll have you good as new in half a jiffy.” I covered his legs. Old Joe sure had made a mess and wasn’t smellin’ too pretty either. The others weren’t makin’ things any easier.
“Old Joe’s lost his waterworks!” shouts Pete Farley, who I just wanna bust on the nose.
And Minnie Fay pipes up real nasty-like yellin’ from down the table, “Oh boy Joe, did you think you could control that too?”
There’s somethin’ about someone bein’ vulnerable and all, that just stirs up empathy inside a person. Empathy you was sure weren’t ever there before. Where’s it come from I wonder? Well I sure got plenty of it for old Joe right now.
I hightailed him outta that dinin’ parlour and wheeled him back to his room, before anyone else could say anythin’ that would embarrass Joe even more. He was shakin’ his head still moanin’, but I was sayin’ the nicest things to him I ever said. Where’s all them nice words come from I wonder.
“Now don’t you be embarrassed Mr Joe. I’m a goinna clean you up and you’ll be as good as new. You ain’t the first person this is happened to. It’s just a natural part of life, as natural as gettin’ old. We got special equipment for when this happens, so you don’t need to worry about havin’ an accident and bein’ embarrassed again.”
I was prattlin’ on to settles Joe down. Musta been workin’ cause he stopped cryin’ and says to me quietly, “Thank you Milly.”
Glory! is my ears deceivin’ me? Where did them words come from I wonder. Old Joe took my hand and leaned up outta his chair to give me a sweet-as-pie kiss on the cheek.
“Well thank you Mr Joe” I stammered. Who was embarrassed now?!
And Joe ain’t ever been the same since. He’s real subdued-like and just the easiest patient I got. In fact, I reckon he’s the most sunny one of ‘em all. Mr Joe don’t wanna be in control no more.
The good Lord is full of surprises. I’m guessin’ all them kind actions and words, the ones that is hidden deep below, that shows themselves at the right time, is His workings in us. I’m a prayin’ He keeps workin’ in me.
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