Thursday, May 28, 2009

I wish I had thought of this first, but because I didn’t, I am going to give praise and support to the people who had this wonderful idea. The Tennessee Health Care Association has an annual Who’s Who in the Tennessee’s nursing homes to pay homage to the lives and accomplishments of its patients. The reason this idea appeals so much to me is due to the daily visits we made Savannah Health Care during the six months my wife’s mother was a patient in that facility. Every time I strolled down the hall to her room, I passed many of the patients sitting in their wheelchairs. In the dining room, they gathered around the tables, many of them taking a nap before returning to their rooms. As I looked at each of them, I could not help wondering who they were, or more important, who they had been.

In our local facility, they recently honored three men you might have passed in the corridor without a second glance. One was a West Point graduate who served with honor, flying 15 missions over Europe in WWII. Another was a retired FBI agent, who served at the legal attaché to the Chilean Consulate, and later worked as an attorney. Another was a talented artist who was accomplished in several arts and crafts.

All of them have a story, even the ones who have slipped quietly into a childlike state and can no longer remember who they were. I will especially remember one frail lady who would not sit quietly in her chair. She was constantly issuing orders to invisible family members as she instructed them in preparing their Sunday dinner. I wonder when that long ago dinner was that is still so vivid in her memory. I especially wonder about the ones who ate it, and where they are now.

It is up to us to see that they aren’t forgotten and that their legacy lives on as a part of our history, or better still, as a part of our daily lives.


Milton T. Burton said...

This is a great idea, Joe. Time somebody did it.

The Belle in Blue said...

We just put my MIL in an assisted living facility, and I noticed that they have a big bulletin board in the hall that features bio sheets for each of the residents with their picture and something about them. It's one of the reasons we picked this facility.

Sandra said...

This is a wonderful blog and something we should all think about. It is sad to think that no one knows about those folks in the home.

Thank you :-)