WEDNESDAY — actually Thursday A.M.

On Wednesday the staff got Nancy out of her bed early and off to the therapy wing of the facility.  Then they took the small stuff in her room,  piled all on to the beds, and wheeled the three contrived wagons out and down the hall.  We have deliberately limited the things I take in but still there were chairs, night stands, waste baskets, and Nancy’s magazines, a few personal items in plastic bags, a dog biscuit box with greeting cards, and a small yellow lined tablet with her notes – a daily log of people, events, and comments. I did not see this but I have an image of the Oklahoma Joads leaving the Dustbowl and heading for California.  The purpose of this evacuation was to clean and wax the floor while having only one person without much stuff to deal with.  (Some long term residents have decorated extensively.)

While the beds were parked in the hallway the magazines and the yellow note pad and therapy-related papers disappeared. The things might have gotten stuffed into something or into someplace we don’t know about by the movers but they were not around to ask when Nancy was allowed back into her room.  The alternative assumption is that one of the residents wandering the halls carted a few things off to another place.  The nurse was not surprised about the missing items and wrote a memo to add a search directive to alert the staff at the morning meeting.

With the floor of her room freshly waxed they taped it closed like a crime scene and took her into the middle space of another room that is the permanent home to two very elderly and frail women.  The families of these two have decorated the spaces with personal and family items.  Nancy’s temporary space, between these two decorated oases, impressed me as being starkly empty.  She sat in the wheel chair beside an unmade bed, a table with a glass of water, and a cell phone.

The afternoon was saved by having her hair cut.  Since arriving in EBRG Nancy has had her hair trimmed by the same lady and she came at Nancy’s request.  So in an empty spot between the home-like spaces of two elderly strangers we both got new looks.  Why not?  My hair needed cut.