While away on vacation I actually thought about quitting my job. Being a caregiver is not hard work, but it's constant, repetitive. It's variations on the same, every weekday of every week. Same tasks, same meals to prepare, same questions to answer, same, same, same... With no hope for change or recovery. My clients are well into their 90's. One could compare caregiving to watching the movie Titanic. We all knew the outcome before we stepped foot into the theatre: The boat sank. No surprise there.
So what is going to happen at work? Eventually at life's cold close I will be left without my clients. And there have been signs of the downward slipping for months now. Why go back? Why not find a jollier job?
Still pondering I returned for Day 1. YES! They remembered me. The stories of their last week and my vacation get swapped. They were happy to see me. Smiling, and loving my job, I was happy to see them, happy to speak my limited Italian that gets a smile or a laugh, but still on the fence.
Day 2. Another great day; highlighted by dancing with a 96 year old. Under the direction of his wife, all smiles, she taught me to dance to Dean Martin singing the Italian song on the Lizzie Maguire movie soundtrack. A good day.
Day 3. Turmoil struck and things went amiss, but we all survived, ending my shift with Benny Goodman and Sing, Sing, Sing. Goodness was plucked from the bowels of bad. The days events forgotten never to be remembered due to Short Term Memory Loss. A blessing.
And then there was Day 4, which sealed the deal. Dean Martin again singing that Italian song, on repeat, for probably the 20+ time. We were singing along and swaying to the melody when he asked her to dance and they did. Married 70 years and still there was such warmth in their embrace. Such unbridled smiles upon their faces.
A few slow turns around the room, they invited me to join them. And I did. And I will, until there is no more dancing to be done.