"Could you talk to "Margot B"? She would love to have something to read.” Long term care staff at the retirement/ nursing home where I volunteer direct me to a potential new client.
I've never visited "long term care” before, but I know the residents are usually very old and have major physical challenges that require 24 hour nursing. Often they are in wheelchairs. Sure enough, when I peek into her room, grey haired Margot is dozing in hers with her leg propped up on the bed.
I am not sure what to expect. The experience is sure to be memorable, but will it be disheartening or uplifting? I prepare for the worst.
But the moment Margot hears my knock, she is wide awake. I introduce myself, and she gives me a lovely smile. “I’m so glad to see you. You are the library lady! I still love to read. My body is letting me down, but my mind is good." She taps herself on the head for emphasis, and laughs, "At 96, what can you expect? "
I'd better get this tattooed somewhere I can read it often: age is only a number.