I have had a cold for the last several weeks, so skipped my volunteering until this Wednesday. As I entered the third floor, Joan, one of aids, stopped me and said I should tell you this before you get it from someone else, “Velma was found dead in her bed this morning”. What a surprise, she seemed to be in good health. The only medicine I saw the nurses giving her was a crushed up calcium pill.  Something every resident gets.

Velma was the lady I started feeding after Bea, the lady who was my first meal mate died. Velma was a very large lady with a good appetite and was very easy to feed. Generally we had a grand old time at our table during lunch. Besides Velma there was Casey, Geraldine, and Helen at the sides of the table, and at the corners, doing the feeding, were Becky, Joan, an aid whose name escapes me now, and myself. There was a lot of kidding among us, and the residents. I expect I will be assigned a new meal mate. I hope it is one who likes to eat!!

As I was leaving, I saw a lady at the nurses station doing business on the phone, and guessed correctly that she was Velma’s daughter. I waited a minute for her to finish, and introduced myself to express my sympathy to her. She said, “your Bob! Mom talked a lot about you”. That came as a real surprise, because I never got the impression that my feeding Velma had any impact on her, besides the fun we seemed to have at lunch. Anyway her daughter asked if I wanted to accompany her down to her mother’s room to see Velma for the last time. I of course did and there also met her grand-daughter who was sitting beside the bed. As I get the story, Velma played Bingo the evening before, had her bedtime snack, and was in good spirits when she went to sleep. During the night she died peacefully in her sleep.

As I left the room the daughter thanked me profusely for what I had done for Velma. Can you understand why I give up my line dance class so I can volunteer at Raybrook?



  1. Barbara said,

    December 9, 2006 at 4:01 am

    Yes, I can understand.

  2. Deborah said,

    December 9, 2006 at 8:04 pm

    Me too. Such a blessing for those whose lives you touch as well as the blessings you receive in return. I am praying that Aunt Ruth will find the same in those that come in contact with her.

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