ADD - EmmittSubmitted by Ducky at 2009-09-17 01:56:54 EDT
Rating: 1.81 on 30 ratings (30 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
She had been working as a care aide for 26 years, was two years away from retirement, and had spent her entire career working in an extended (mostly palliative) care facility. She had a funny thing about death; she’d get bent out of shape if a pet died, or if she watched a heart-wrenching movie, but when people died she never became emotional. She said once that she must be missing something – like part of her wiring was off when it came to that sort of thing. When her first resident died, she went in to talk to the family. She was nervous and upset and got about two sentences out before her body spontaneously began to convulse. With tears running down her cheeks, she excused herself and left the room. Over 25 years ago. That was the last time she’d cried.
When a resident’s health begins to degrade, she makes a phone call to the family to notify them. Sometimes this results in a sudden influx of visitation, but not always. Upon making one such call, she was told by the family that they didn’t want to be notified if Emmitt was “going downhill” and to just call them after he’d passed. That was close to a month ago and nobody had come to see him.
Yesterday, he came up to her and told her matter-of-factly that he’d be dying soon, and that he had to go home. He proceeded to slowly return to his room and pack all of his belongings into two suitcases. Finished packing, he sat on the edge of his bed and looked out the window. She gingerly made her way into the room and slowly began to unpack his suitcases. He didn’t look at her…didn’t notice that she was there. Part way through, he looked over at her with a sad expression on his face. She held up his book, gestured to the nightstand, and said “Is this okay?” With a look of resignation on his face, Emmitt slowly nodded his head. She placed the book on his nightstand.
When she left work that night she checked in with him just after finishing her shift. He gave her a hug, and for the first time, a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll miss you” he said quietly. She squeezed his hand, wished him pleasant dreams, and left. As she drove home, she was filled with an overwhelming sadness that she had not experienced in a very long time.
But she didn't cry.
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