A Loving Friend

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This week, I had a breakthrough with the residents that normally are causing the most trouble. I first walked in to see the lady named Josephine, who was crying uncontrollably during my last visit, sitting pensively in her chair staring off at the wall. I approached her, and shortly after sharing my name pulled up a chair beside her.

I believe Josephine has had a stroke or a similar incident in the past because although she understood what I was telling her, she had a great deal trouble speaking to me. However, I could tell she was enjoying the attention, so I was able to stay with her and she would get really enthusiastic with her responses. In the middle, of our conversation, I hear banging on the table informing that the second trouble maker had just entered the room, Barbara.

I encouraged Barbara to come beside me and Josephine, and all three of us began to hang out there. Although they could not speak too well, they were both beaming during our time together. A far cry of the two ladies I met when I came in for my last visit.

Eventually, it became time for the residents to watch their movie, so the nurses turned off the lights. This prompted Josephine to go back to her room, and Barbara left for a brief while. However, as I was walking around the facility introducing myself to the residents in the hall, a nurse approached me and asked me what I did to Josephine and Barbara.

She said that Josephine has been acting very happy lately and asking to talk to ‘red hair boy’. She also said that Barbara has not hit anything or anyone in the last hour, and has also been looking for me. This warmed my heart, since last time I came in, neither of them wanted anything to do with me. So I returned to say my goodbyes to each of them, and Josephine starting crying, and opened her arms for a hug when I said I had to leave. Barbara, in her funny, quirky way asked if she could hold the raggedy doll, and then told me I can’t get leave because she is not giving back my raggedy doll.

I think this drastic change towards how these women treated me this second time seeing them shows how powerful a nonjudgmental and loving friend can help someone. We did not talk too much, but we did enjoy each other’s company, and it shows how much can be communicated nonverbally. I learned during this visit, that I have a lot work to do in regards to communicating with the residents, but I left in high spirits because I realized how great of an opportunity this is to improve on my ability to show love and kindness towards others, especially when words may not be possible.

—Harrison Pollard

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