Monday, January 22, 2007

when i die, bury me with orange pop

this past weekend one of my residents at the group home died. ok, background: in addition to working in insurance i work at a group home, every other weekend, where i've worked since december of 1995.

when i first started there, i hated it. i mean, hated with everything i was. i like the residents, i always have, but i didn't like some of our management, some of the other staff & lots of the policies. but over time i've mellowed out quite a bit & can take most everything with a grain of salt. & of course, the residents are so much a part of my life that it's odd when i do take time off & don't see them for a while.

i go to their christmas party, when they're in the hospital i visit, they're just like my extended family. except instead of feeling obligated to care because of blood lines, i care because they're such great people that i feel blessed to have them in my life. & i have to say, while i've been told by their families that my residents' lives are better because i'm there, i think that i am really the lucky one because they have taught me SO much about being a good person, love, selflessness, & just about every other human trait you could imagine.

my resident that died had only been with us at our house for about three years, but i loved going in & seeing her. she had the brightest smile, that would just light up the entire room. & she was the biggest prankster, loving to joke with the staff, tease us, make us smile. i really feel like something very special has been taken from my life.

her funeral is tomorrow, the memorial service part, with the internment of her body later on in the week. i have the day off my full time job & i'll be doing a reading. i said i would write a poem for her, if i could, otherwise i have a couple of bible verses, corinthians & ecclesiastes. i want to write her a poem, she deserves at least that from me for all that i got from her, but i'm not sure if i can do it.

& one thing that i definitely want to put out into the universe is that even though she did have disabilities, her life was still very rich & full. she liked spending time outside, playing cards, orange pop, chocolate pudding, going on vacations, van rides, socializing with her house mates & staff. she had family that wrote her letters & visited her. & most of all, she was very very loved & cherished. & in the end, that's all any of us can hope for at the end of our life, that we mattered that much to someone else.

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