Journal of Gerontological Nursing

Patience

Charlene Labbe, RN

Abstract

1 see you ei>rry day

And have seen so many like you.

A sea of faces-for some reason

Some are more remembered-like yours.

Faraway in body or soul-sometimes both.

The eyes not seeing or maybe not wanting to see.

Not wanting to be or somehow forgetting how.

We were together yesterday, you and I.

A shower, shampoo, and curlers in your hair.

No nameless, opened back robe today.

A pretty dress! Color and texture-see it?

Underclothes and look at this silky slip.

Oh, yes, these pretty leather shoes.

How long have they been in the back of this closet?

Here is your dignity-take it.

You're not looking-eyes shut so tight

and face expressionless.

I'm trying, but am I being unkind-unrealistic?

/ don't know. I wish you could tell me.

Finally, the unveiling-

Your hair, so shiny and soft, falling around your face

Beautiful!

Don't you want to look? Feel it?

Doesn't it feel good?

It's time to go. I turn to leave-

but something is holding me back.

You have my hand so tight and now-

Now I can see your blue eyes. You see me.

No words-we need none.

There are tears, a smile, then you kiss me.

A treasure!

Now today I see you again.

Eyes back-not seeing.

They left you in your clothes and you're wet.

Yesterday we walked together to the bathroom

and you took care of your own needs.

Remember?

I touched you and you let me see your person.

Where are you now?

Maybe back to a happy, distant place?

How can I blame you?

You have your label and number.

Yesterday we forgot your number and remembered your person.

Today I can't be with you, we're short handed again.

I can't blame you if you don't want to see me.

How can I justify this to you?

Days like this-

I see the indignity, I hear the cries,

/ notice the smells more.

I don't want to be here, maybe I'll never come back.

I feel like going to a happy, distant place-like you.

/ reach over and take your limp hand.

Yesterday you held my hand so tightly.

Today you're not with me,

/ remember....

We were together yesterday, you and I.

Tomorrow I'll be back.…

1 see you ei>rry day

And have seen so many like you.

A sea of faces-for some reason

Some are more remembered-like yours.

Faraway in body or soul-sometimes both.

The eyes not seeing or maybe not wanting to see.

Not wanting to be or somehow forgetting how.

We were together yesterday, you and I.

A shower, shampoo, and curlers in your hair.

No nameless, opened back robe today.

A pretty dress! Color and texture-see it?

Underclothes and look at this silky slip.

Oh, yes, these pretty leather shoes.

How long have they been in the back of this closet?

Here is your dignity-take it.

You're not looking-eyes shut so tight

and face expressionless.

I'm trying, but am I being unkind-unrealistic?

/ don't know. I wish you could tell me.

Finally, the unveiling-

Your hair, so shiny and soft, falling around your face

Beautiful!

Don't you want to look? Feel it?

Doesn't it feel good?

It's time to go. I turn to leave-

but something is holding me back.

You have my hand so tight and now-

Now I can see your blue eyes. You see me.

No words-we need none.

There are tears, a smile, then you kiss me.

A treasure!

Now today I see you again.

Eyes back-not seeing.

They left you in your clothes and you're wet.

Yesterday we walked together to the bathroom

and you took care of your own needs.

Remember?

I touched you and you let me see your person.

Where are you now?

Maybe back to a happy, distant place?

How can I blame you?

You have your label and number.

Yesterday we forgot your number and remembered your person.

Today I can't be with you, we're short handed again.

I can't blame you if you don't want to see me.

How can I justify this to you?

Days like this-

I see the indignity, I hear the cries,

/ notice the smells more.

I don't want to be here, maybe I'll never come back.

I feel like going to a happy, distant place-like you.

/ reach over and take your limp hand.

Yesterday you held my hand so tightly.

Today you're not with me,

/ remember....

We were together yesterday, you and I.

Tomorrow I'll be back.

10.3928/0098-9134-19801001-11

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