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Sunday, December 21, 2014

WWII Vet

Robert opening body wash
(I promised not to show his face.)

 
When I decided to give something to an elderly person in a nursing home, I called to find someone. The original idea was to give to an elderly lady. However, the woman at the nursing home wanted Robert to be the one to receive a Christmas gift. She gave me a list of things he wanted, and I took them.

It seems the residents like body wash and he smiled a huge smile when he opened his own body wash.

special blanket
body wash
pens
notebooks
calendar
Werther's candy
other things I cannot remember
*tree--did not get, could not afford

I decided on my own to give a few other things.

*Tshirt with Christmas wreath and yellow ribbon. The t-shirt had "Support our Troops" and a helicopter, submarine, and two other machines for the other two branches.
*Small 4"x6' American flag.
*small flashlight
*knit cap
*little bag of candy I received at the Senior Dinner last week

The activity director said he wanted a 'special blanket.' I was concerned he was cold. She said he could have all the blankets they wanted, but he wanted something that was his alone. The throw I gave him was 50x60". He remarked with much glee, "Now that will keep me warm at night!" It must be hard not to own things like a blanket. As I passed the rooms, I did notice that there were different blankets on each bed. Maybe next time I will get to see his room.

He picked up the flashlight, turned it on, smiled at me and said, "Now, I can really use this!" Then, smiling, he turned it on and off, admiring it. He looked over the tshirt as I read it to him. The worker held it up to show him. His voice was strong as he told me how he prayed for all branches of our service. He berated the Germans and Japanese for the things they did "to our boys." Every nights he prays for all our serviceman.

When exbf asked where he served, he pointed out he said he never saw action. I quickly pointed out that the men fighting would not survive without support from men like him, so he served an important work in the war. He smiled and agreed, seeming to feel like he was understood.
Many older people speak in short sentences, sometimes just parroting what someone in the room says in a prompt. This man spoke in compound, complex sentences. He spoke in rather long sentences, and his syntax and word choice was sophisticated. This English teacher was impressed. He had obviously not lost anything to old age. He was 94, I believe.

The notebooks were composition books. I noticed he was feeling the back edge, the spine, of the notebooks. I asked him if he would have rather had a spiral notebook. He seemed not to understand. He just could not hear me. So, I touched the spine of the composition notebook and asked if he had rather have a spiral notebook, the ones with curly wire. He was adamant with his not and verbal, "Yes, that's what I want, the ones with wire." So, I told him I would bring back some of those. "Good."

When he finished with opening the gifts, he said, "Everything here is something I will use. Thank you.' Then, he smiled and then was sober, "This is all so nice. You are so pretty. The one thing that would make all this even better is if I had a hug." Sooo, I got up and hugged him. He had a nice strong hug but not too aggressive.

When he opened up the notebooks, he said he was going to write love letters as he smiled at me. The worker was surprised. He smiled at me and said he would write letters to his sister and her children in Nashville. I think he was a big flirt. He saw exbf who went with me, but Robert sort of acted like he was not there except when exbf asked him a question.

The only thing I could not get him was a small Christmas tree, but those were $20, an amount I could not afford. His blanket was one I bought for $1.50 on sale last year. The body wash was $1. The t-shirt was $4.97; Werther's $1 flashlight $2. So, I suppose I spent about $10+tax. All the other was pennies on sale through the last year.

I forgot to put in the sd card in my battery, so I got few pictures.

It made me sad that no one visited him, but they said he had no children. Well, that made it better in a way.

The activity director said he wanted 'good' notebooks. Unsure of what she meant, she said he wins the little spiral notebooks all the time, but that he wanted a 'good' notebook. Finally, I figured it out; he wanted the full sized spiral notebooks. It seems he records what happens everyday. He keeps a record of his day and what happens as far as activity. Maybe that is one thing that keeps his mind so sharp.

We went to him where a movie was showing. So, I felt we should not stay too long. I promised him I would be back before Christmas with the notebooks.

9 comments:

  1. How sweet and truly what the spirit of Christmas should be.

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  2. Christmas as it should be - and rarely is.
    Thank you.

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  3. Linda, this is such a nice thing you are doing. May you be blessed one hundred fold. Carol

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  4. Bellen, Elephant's Child, carol,
    Thank you. It felt good.

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  5. That was so so kind of you!!! You are a good soul.

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    1. Sonya Ann,
      I try to be kind and good and do what is right and not for some reward in the afterlife.. Thank you.

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  6. That's a wonderful story. I always help make tray decorations for the nursing home patients and helped our church ladies make blankets for our parish members in the nursing homes and homebound. Those are the only gifts I feel good about giving.

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  7. That is an absolutely wonderful thing you did there. Having a pretty lady giving him the attention of friendship, tokens of care and Christmas spirit, made his whole world. Bless you for that act.

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    1. Brigid,
      Thank you. I really did not feel like it was much, but he thought a lot of what I did. I think I will keep visiting him. Thanks.

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