He was sleeping when I arrived. The driveway was still too icy for an outing, I’d noted on the way to the house. The sun streamed through the windows but the house was quiet. I called a quick Hello then headed to his room. I heard the oxygen machine softly purring as I passed and glanced at the note from his earlier caretaker. He was back in bed. Breakfast was over and the doctor had been by early to draw blood. I knocked then entered his warm sunny room.
“Ah, where have you been? I was waiting!” he demanded good-naturedly. As always, my hands were cold and we laughed at my “cold hands, warm heart!” greeting.
He dozed a bit longer while I watched his cows beyond the window and tried to reset his clock ahead for the hour change of Daylight Savings Time.
“I’m ready to get up.”
“OK let me just find your shoes.” While he shuffled himself to the edge of the bed I fussed with his walker and blankets. “Did you want to give me a back rub?” he asked, perched on the edge of the bed.
“Funny thing is I was just thinking I would love to do that!” I guided his feet into his shoes only to realize he was wearing wonderfully thick hand knit wool socks. When I tried to help him to a standing position he balked. “I must be safe in my shoes!” He bent to work his feet deeper into the clogs he wears, the socks fighting his progress. Eventually he was upright and we started the journey to the bathroom. Once there he sat in a chair and gazed out the window at the birds in the “waiting area,” a bush near the feeder. “I like to sit here” he commented as he bathed his face in icy cold water. I offered cream for his face and hands and thought about how many times in life he has gotten up and dashed cold water on that face.
This morning as I left home, I had grabbed a little bit of spring spirit and donned my flowered Dansko clogs; bypassing the heavy boots I’ve worn for months. As he sat by the sink later, he looked down at my feet and smiled. “Those are very happy shoes! I like them!”
From my Power-Patent-Leather Pumps that squeezed my toes and tilted my pelvis at a frightening angle, to round, comfortable clogs. You need to be safe in your shoes…