Name: Holly Angela Olson
From: Wisconsin Rapids, WI
I know that you don’t mean some of the things that you do. I’ve
come to terms with that. My name is Holly, I’m a student
recreational therapist at the nursing home that you stay at, and
every day I will care for you. Every day at 5:00 I come walking up
the path to the front door.
“Hello darling, do you want to play BINGO?” You sit there with the picture
still in hand and call me over. You introduce me to the man in the
picture. It’s your husband, the one that has passed over ten years
ago. In the picture he is still the twenty year old man that you
first fell in love with, and every day I meet him again. Every day I
pray to God that he knows how much you think about him and that he is
somewhere listening to you and watching over you.
“Hello, do you want to play BINGO?” You sit there in the chair staring
blankly at my figure as though I’m a ghost. You are always so
scared to go down with all the other people. I know that you don’t
know how to play card games, you see, you were in the Korean war.
While the other men played cards, you were always the only playing
the music on your guitar. You were the one keeping their spirits up.
I have no idea what kind of horrors you had to see, but I do know how
happy you get when you win BINGO.
No, I don’t know every detail about your past, I only know what you
have told me multiple times. I don’t know when you were diagnosed,
how long you have dealt with this condition. What I do know is who
you are, you are one of the many strong people that I have the chance
to work with every single day.
At work, I am surrounded by Alzheimer’s everywhere I look. It isn’t
always easy working with you. I sometimes don’t know what words to
say to comfort you. Yeah, it may cause you to be irritable, socially
withdrawn, and have a lot of distrust. You may not remember
everything, but I will. I always will, for years to come I will
remember everything about each of you.
You have taught me about your lives and what is truly important in the
end. You have shown me that it is not always the big things that end
up mattering. You made me realize that this life’s for living, so I
need to live it. You told me without words that life doesn’t always
place you in the most ideal situations, but if you fight, you can
live through anything. My name is Holly, I’m a student recreational
therapist at the nursing home that you stay at, and everyday I will
care for you.