Another New Year’s Eve
On New Year’s Eve, I stopped to see Barry before I went to babysit our young granddaughters for the evening. He is very thin and almost totally bed-ridden. The theme of my blog, Putting One Foot in Front of the Other, is ironic because Barry can barely walk now! Since fall, I am no longer able to walk with him around the corridors. He weighs only 140 pounds but is still too heavy for me to handle.
I walked into his room and there he was, lying in the dark, dozing and looking like a very old man. His lips were sucked in and his eyes rolled back in his head. At first, I thought he was dead, but my coming into the room startled him awake. I turned on a classical music radio station and sat down. Out the window, I saw light snow falling and couldn’t help but think about past New Year’s celebrations at our cabin. There was always food cooking, friends visiting, good wine for drinking, kids playing in the snow and music blasting!
How sad it felt to be sitting here with Barry who is so small now. I try to talk to him at each visit, but he just repeats what I say. Now I bring work to do just to pass the time while Barry dozes. I always tell him that he can nap all he wants and won’t get yelled at by me to go do something! I don’t think he finds that funny anymore.
Rock and roll
As I sat next to his bed looking at Facebook, I saw a video of Aretha Franklin singing “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” at the Carole King tribute. I clicked on it and listened to her beautiful performance. I was stunned to see Barry perk up. He looked at me and said, “Natural Woman!” For a moment I though he was about to cry, but I think he was just happy. When the song was over, I opened iTunes and played a bunch of rock and roll for him. When I played his favorite song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones, he tried to sing
along, and he actually knew many words to the song.
This was always his favorite song. I know because he once told me that he learned early in life that you can’t always get what you want, but you’ll get what you need. I wonder if this is a concept he still understands. I hope so!
We sat listening to rock and roll on this last day of 2015. It was a far cry from our celebrations at the cabin but kind of a celebration just the same! Welcome 2016. What will you bring us?