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Ms. Millie and Friends

Ms. Millie, the sassy so called senior that some call a motivational force, cordially invites you to join her quest to stay youthful and feel better, inside & out.

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Mar '08

The Contrasts of Age

My day started on an always happy event when I enter the classroom and see my wonderful kindergartner’s smiling and working so hard to learn and above all to sit still and listen. This is a difficult task for young children and I must say they have progressed into little adults since August. Every day is another aha moment as they read a few words for the first time, when they can count to 100. When I see that happy look and the light bulb expression, I feel proud for each one of these children. I leave after a three hour stint, have some lunch and then off to assess a nursing home. My assignment is to be sure they are well staffed and stocked for emergencies, e.g. water, food. I check for activities, healthy menus, snacks and then- happy well cared for residents.

I walk the corridors and chat here and there with different residents asking questions about their likes and dislikes and how anything might be improved. I always knock on their door to ask permission to enter. As I walked by this beautifully decorated pink room, my eyes move to the resident sitting in a wheelchair with a tray attached like a high chair. Her televison was on but what caught my eye was a child’s set of foam triangles and a burnt orange stuffed dog with beautiful brown eyes. He had a short tail. My resident was sitting as a child with her hand petting the stuffed dog, but no emotion expressed on her face. I asked her how she was? I told her my name and asked her if she had children and then she started to mouth the word yes, I quickly said one, two and three with my fingers showing the numbers and she replied in a whisper- 3. With tears in my eyes, I bid her a good bye with a smile and told her I would be back soon to see her again.

Here we are, five and six year old children learning to read, write and talk and a 85 plus woman who doesn’t remember how to any more. Do we only go so far and then revert back to childhood?

I hope I touched her heart today as much as she touched mine.

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