Let me start by telling you what I’m thankful for tonight — laughter. I haven’t laughed this hard in ages. Bear with me as I tell you the story.
Went to see dad tonight at the nursing home. We chatted about the Ohio State victory (he’s a huge OSU fan) and talked about the weather and then the conversation pretty much died out. Dad isn’t a big conversationalist. Many nights I just sit and we look at each other.
But all of a sudden he started to chuckle then said “when you leave tonight, stop in Helen’s room and ask her to tell you about my girlfriend.” Let’s back up a little bit. Helen sits at dad’s table for meals and is one of his gang members. She’s a sweetheart and probably close to 90 years old.
But then he continued. It seems that another old woman (I guess old is a given there) who, in dad’s words, is out of her mind, decided that he is her boyfriend. She got up from her table and announced loudly that she wanted to be with her boyfriend and put her arm around dad.
By this time I was rolling on the floor laughing. He said that his gang was of no help to him. They just sat there and laughed. He even told them that if I was there, I would have been laughing with them.
And that’s all he had to say about it.
Well, I gathered my coat and decided I had to stop and see Helen. When I got to her room, I told her that dad said she would give me all the details of his “girlfriend.” She and I both laughed hysterically as she filled in some details. Helen said that the nurses tried to get this old woman to go back to her table and sit down but she wasn’t about to let go of my dad, proclaiming she wanted to be with her boyfriend. It seems the nurse finally quit laughing long enough to get this old dame back to her table.
The there’s more. Once she was back at her table, she wanted to send dad a drink. So she had the nurse give him a glass of milk. So this is the kind of bar I have to look forward to when I get old??? But then this old gal was going up and down the hall later looking for Bob (my dad). Thankfully she didn’t find him. Helen and I laughed and laughed and laughed. Dad always said he should write a book – he certainly has enough material for one.
While I found this all hilarious, my sister will not be happy about it. She is terrified that some old woman is going to try and get her claws in dad. Sheesh! The evil part of me wants to call her and tell her (and probably exaggerate a bit) – but then the other part of me wants to keep this special thing to myself. (Maybe that is really the evil part of me)
I spent an hour in Helen’s room. I have to tell you that she is really a great lady. And she likes to talk (something dad doesn’t do much of). I learned about her four boys and grandchildren and how the kids don’t get along. When she told me that one of her sons changed his name and wanted nothing to do with the family, I wanted to cry along with her. But then we talked about other stuff that made us both laugh.
But the one thing about Helen I have noticed every day is that she is a reader. She always has a book open reading. One of my favorite subjects so we talked about that for a long time. She offered me all of her books (boxes) and said that her grandkids make sure she has plenty to read. I was talking about reading on my Kindle. She had no idea what that was but was quite fascinated. She leaned up in her wheelchair and said “can I be nosy and ask how much one of those is?” When I told her mine was only about $59, she perked right up. Any other time, I would have had it in my purse, but tonight I had taken it out before I went down to see dad. I told her I would bring it with me and let her see how it works. I was talking about indie authors and she didn’t have a clue what that meant. I’m opening up a whole new world to her.
I think I will go to the library at their next used book sale and buy her a stack of books. I love people who read. Plus she is good for my dad. She told me how much she respects him because he is so kind to her (and everybody).
So, that is why I’m thankful for laughter. It makes me feel good to know that dad is happy and has friends. But just laughing makes me feel so good. How can you possibly be having a bad day when you’re laughing.