Thursday, May 03, 2007

peony and the drive by incident

By now, most of you know I raise Alzheimer's patients for a living. Well, in case you didn't know, I do. They are wealthy and live in a private place created just for them. They each have their own little apartment and I beg -- I BEG -- their family members not to furnish their rooms with heirlooms. Alzheimer's is the great leveller. About halfway down the trail, personal property ceases to hold any special appeal. Not much matters. To them. To family? That's a whole 'nother deal. Not that family matters a whole lot to them after awhile, but the stuff... the stuff matters to the family.

So there I was, fast asleep, midnightish, and the phone rings. I always know these calls are for me. Almost. So I fumble for the phone, and the night shift med aide tells me, in pretty broken english, that a car has smashed into the building and destroyed Peony's room and all of her trinkets: commemorative plates, crystal vases, knotts berry farm cup and saucer, the works.

I wonder about Peony, as I should. I'm always so relieved when I show signs of compassion. I worry that I'll forget to ask: "Oh, and Peony? Is she under the broken glass or under the bumper?" But Peony slept right through the whole thing. She's deaf as a post.

So, the morning was full of taking pictures and attempting to reconstruct what might have happened. Who knows? Some crackhead probably trying to turn around in a driveway that, at first glance, looked a bit wider. Maybe a swing shift employee in a hurry to leave work who accidentally floored it in reverse, jumping the curb, crossing 15 feet of lawn and smashing into the wall without, say, stopping to say oops. my bad.

Her daugher showed up before nine, the first words out of her mouth "shattered family heirlooms." I knew the bill would be high. But really, who sets the price for memory? You can't buy it back. You don't really even get to know you lost it.

I remember my sister in law driving through some lady's house, knocking her out of bed and breaking her ankle. She at least had the good taste to pass out at the scene. We'll never know what happened.

And really, I'll never care all that much. Peony is okay. Knotts Berry Farm is still in business [right?] and they still make those commemorative plates, only it seems like they all have Elvis on them.

Time for Survivor.

1 comment:

L. said...

geez-o-petes!!!! glad peony is ok and you stil remember to care.