I worked at that particular Nursing Home for almost five years. I started when I was still a Senior in High School and was there until last September when I moved to Indiana. I worked alot of crazy hours, and did things that I never thought that I would do. Having that kind of job is something that I don't think people actually put to much thought into when they're choosing a profession. They all know that someone does it, but no one really thinks that they, themselves will ever do it.
I'm not going to lie, I never thought that i would have done a job like that. But I did and I truly believe that it made me a better person. I loved my job, and I loved the people that I took care of. Like any job, there are always those extremely hard days that you want to pull your hair out, those days/nights that you've worked so many hours you don't know if you'll be able to stay awake, those people you have to work for/with that you just want to punch in the nose (you know I'm right), those times that you've worked so many days/hours straight that you don't know what day or week that it is. All in all though, putting all of that aside, and focusing on all of the good times that I had there with my residents, their families, and co-workers, I wouldn't change one second of it.
I enjoyed taking care of those people that I knew needed me. I enjoyed making them smile and laugh. Trying to bring a little bit of joy (no matter how small of an amount) to each of their days, every day. Bringing them their three meals and snacks everyday, and helping them eat it if need be. Helping them get ready in the mornings, whether they had to go to the doctor, they had visitors coming, or they were just lounging around for the day. I loved trying to fix my Little Lady's hair, doing horribly, and them just smiling, chuckling, and saying, "It's ok Sweetie, I Love it- You did a Great Job". I tried to make their lives a little better, and they turned it right around back to me, to make mine better too.
I used to dress up in costumes for the holidays, or events that they were having. Just to add a little humor to their day, and possibly get a smile. No matter how small, it was completely worth it. They would laugh with me, and we would dance, or sing together and just try to have fun. They said I helped to bring back a piece of their youth and their sense of humor, and that's exactly what my intention was. Sometimes, just to get a little smile out of them, I would do something small. Like, stick a flower in my hair and give them a kiss on the cheek, I would dress up, I would pick them flowers, I would sneak them an extra cup of icecream (sugar-free so it was ok), or I would insist on doing the hokey-pokey and end it like I imagine Danny Kaye would.
The point of all of this is to say that I don't regret having the job that I had. I loved those people, and made a few life-long friendships that I could never replace. It made me so sad to leave, but sometimes in life you realize that it's just time to move on. It was my time to move on.It doesn't mean that I love my Residents any less, or those few family members, or co-workers less, it just means that I came to the point in my life that I had to make some really hard decisions for me and my family. I hope that doesn't sound selfish, because I don't mean for it too. If I could have changed a million things, and made a million decisions, and still got to see those smiling faces everyday, even if just for a visit I would have, but I couldn't and I can't. I guess it's true. I did kind of finish growing up there. Although, I don't like the way that I was treated by my bosses, or the way my co-workers or residents were treated by my bosses, I won't say anything bad about them. They know what they did and continue to do, so I refuse to stoop to their level. They're the ones that have to live with their decisions, just like the rest of us have to live with our own. That's all I have to say about that.
When I received her letter though, I was surprised. I immediately wrote her back and we carried on a conversation through a couple of messages. I changed all of the names in the messages, because there's this little thing called HIPPA, and even though I don't work there any more, I'm not sure if it applies to me or not. Better safe than sorry though.
HER: Hi there. Ok is this the Katie, oh I can't spell that word but I know it, your weird last name, I'm not sure, but you know what I mean. Now are you the sweet, very good working, CNA that use to work on Hall Six and take such very good care of me? If yes, Man I really miss you!! I don't know what happened, no one would tell me anything about why you left, until Belinda came back and told me you moved for a better job and to be with family. I miss you a whole lot!! Things suck around here without you, the new techs we have pretty much suck. No one takes care of me like you did. It takes five of them to do what you did for me by yourself, and then they still don’t do it right. It was so funny, you’re just a little bitty thing, and I’ve seen you outwork all of those people that were twice your size. You were stronger, faster, and you cared more! Plus, you’re adorable!
ME: Hey honey, yeah it’s me. I’m good, I just moved up here to Indiana. Wanted to be around some more family, get away from the drama around there, and I got a better job. I miss you too though! I miss alot of my little people down there! And some of the people I worked with, not all of them though lol. Yeah it was getting kind of rough before I left. We couldn’t get any help and then the bosses got mad at us when you couldn’t get 50 things done at once. It’s all good though, I’m happy. And knowing that you still remember me after all this time, and to hear you say those very nice things makes me feel 100 times better than I already was. Thank you. I wish things were going better for you though. I’m so very sorry. I reckon Hall 6 will always kind of be a home to me.
I guess you don’t work somewhere for 5 years and walk away without taking some of it with you. In a way I guess I kind of grew up there. I know that sounds weird, but I started there when I was still a Senior in Highschool and stayed for almost five years, so in a way, I guess it’s true. I miss your smiling face, and Me You and Belinda hiding out gossiping. You always knew what was going on long before we did, and you kept us on the “up and up”. You’re just good like that! I hope things get better sweetie! Tell everybody I said hi, I miss them, & I love them. You can write me on here anytime you want too sweetie. I don’t mind at all, and it’s very nice talking to you. Love you Sweetie.
HER: I miss you too Sweetie!! Belinda said she misses you too! She told me where you moved, that seems so far. I guess I’ll never get to see you again. I'm trying to get out of here. I'm trying to get down to Florida. My dad was living up here for like two years, and then his wife moved up here. They got an apartment, they bought lots of stuff, then before it started to get warm here she wanted to move back to Florida so he lefted me. I used to see him every week, now I'm lucky to see my brother once a freaking month and they don't even work it makes me mad. I'm like very depressed. You remember Sally dying on me? Well then they put another young girl in here with me. Her name is Lila. She had a Trac in her throat, so she couldn't talk, but she was sweet. Only twenty seven years old and she had a little girl. She was in a very bad accident. Her family treated her like crap. They blamed her for everything, and they were mean to her.
I know that if you were here, you wouldn’t have let them pick on her. You never let anybody pick on any of us. You almost lost your job many times, because you would stand up to anybody/everybody for us. You were so good to all of us. We all love you so much!! Anyway she died in the room on me. It broke my heart. I busted out crying, they let me go in there to say goodbye, I miss her, but I have a nice one again. Anyway stay in touch!! I will too!! I miss you like crazy!! We need you back again!! But I understand why you left and why a lot of them are leaving here. The good ones have at least. That's why it sucks! We have a new, well whatever it was that Sheila did. Her name is Karen. She is nice, but I think she is doing more harm here then good, especially for the residents. Take care. I love you!!! Happy 4th! Oh and they ain't doing anything here for those cheap ass holes in the floor that my wheelchair goes into, and you had to pull me out of them! Lol. I love you!! Later.
ME: I miss you and Belinda quite a bit too! I'm not really that far away. You know how to get ahold of me if you need me. Don't worry, the next time I come down that way to visit, I will definitely stop in and visit with you for awhile. I promise! I know you've been wanting to go back to Florida for a really long time. Don't worry about how your brother is being, and don't be depressed. You’re too pretty and good of a person for that. Be as happy as you can. You always have had a great sense of humor like that. Are you still going to Willis’s church? I know you really enjoyed that for awhile. At least it got you out for a little bit. I'm so sorry about Sally. I heard about her, and was very sad. I'm also sorry about your new roommate Lila.
I wish bad things didn't have to happen, but I guess you kind of learn that they do anyways. I know you miss them, I wish there was something I could do to make you feel better. You know that if you need or ever want to talk to me that all you have to do is message me. I don't care when it is. I know you’re unhappy there, and that people aren't the best (most of them, not all) but things will get better. There are a few good people still hanging around. Happy 4th! Think of me a little when you’re watching the fireworks! I know I used to take everybody out there every year, and they loved it! Tell everybody I said hi and I love them! Of course they’re not doing anything for those cheap ass holes, they been there for 50 years Lol. Love you!! Be good! Later!
HER: I Love You Half Pint!!!
Yeah, I probably forgot to mention that one. Alot of my little people called me Half-Pint. I thought it was cute, and they loved it so I never said anything about it. That's not even close to all of my memories or stories, but that is a different story, for another day. When I read this, I laughed, got sad, got happy again, and got a little teary-eyed. I know I'm getting sensitive in my old age. But you know, Like I said Sometimes it's nice to know that you're remembered. That you are appreciated. That you made a difference in someone's life, no matter how small. That you're missed when you're not there. And most importantly that you're Loved. No matter what kind of Love it is, or who it's coming from. Sometimes it's just the little things.