Saturday, October 11, 2008

Painted Nails, etc.

It's a rainy Thanksgiving weekend - perfect for indoor stuff like cleaning (blah), cooking (blah), and eating (yeah!). It's also great for writing - or in my case - the cleaning of writing, more commonly known as editing. I've had to change editors and, the truth is, I've found this to be quite the draining process. But, I shall survive! And so shall my book - because I so totally believe in the story.

I was visiting my mom in the hospital this week and she is, for the first time in her life - at age 89 - wearing nail polish. I can't stop chuckling about it. There's another old woman in the hospital who was admitted around the same time as my mom. I talked to her husband for almost an hour. The couple has a similar background to my mom and they speak German. I'll call the woman Lilly to protect her privacy.

Lilly dresses in flowers. Her pants might not match her top, but both will be a bright, bold floral pattern. Lilly has lost her mind. It's a totally scary thing seeing this slim, always in motion, flower garden struggling to find herself. She has moments of memory and her body seems to know more than her mind.

For example, she walked into the lounge area where I sat with my mom (who's losing her body, and not yet her mind) and Lilly first made sure the chairs were standing in order, then she got on her knees and starting cleaning the floor with the tissue in her hand. When she was done her housework, Lilly joined us.

I asked her how old she was. She said fifty-one. (Lilly must be in her eighties.) My mom started to argue with her. I gently moved on to another topic. A nurse walked by and gave me a grateful smile.

There are stories here. All I have to do is listen.

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