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Millie and her pain

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  • Tip Millie and her pain

    Very pleasant older lady, in her late 70's. Short, a little bit stooped. She has been in a few times only, over the years. Mostly for neck pain. Back in the early 70's she sustained a bad whiplash injury, which eventually went away, but still bothers her if she does a lot of gardening, for example.

    She is scheduled to leave in a few days to see her daughter in another province. For about a week.

    Her daughter is having chemo, for cancer. Her daughter has 4 children, age 5 to 18. The son in law has buried himself in work, doesn't talk much. Sometimes the daughter calls, just to talk and cry. "I don't say much, I just listen."

    Millie had a son, who died of cancer a number of years ago. "He was in the states. He called me, and I went down for two weeks to be with him. He clearly was already at the end, so when my time was up I flew back to make arrangements to go back down for a longer stay, but right after I got home, I got a phone call that he had passed away."

    Her husband is gone too. Just her, and the daughter currently undergoing chemo, and the grandchildren.

    I pondered what life must be like for someone who clearly had poured all their life and love into building a family, only to have outlived them all, practically. This is a stoic sweet woman, very contained about all of it. Just saying the facts. Not emoting about any of it, at all.

    She said, "The rose bush outside my front room window is absolutely full of roses, big pink roses. The peonies were a dark pink - they're almost done now, but the roses are very beautiful. The lilies will come next. People think I'm strange, because I'm renting, and here I am buying trees and planting them in the yard, and tending flowers, but it makes me happy, so it doesn't bother me that I don't "own" them. I just enjoy growing them."

    I replied, it gives you something lovely to look at and admire. She replied, "Yes." Clearly, gardening contains value for her. Personal value. Just the value of putting out an effort and seeing something lovely growing in response.

    I don't normally do human primate social grooming just for the sake of it (seriously, I can't usually find very much to "treat" with her)(besides, what we find to "treat" is usually just pareidolia anyway..), but for her, I do.
    She says she loves how what I do makes her feel. And she is happy to pay me for an hour of hands-on time. I'm happy to give her a bit of hands-on compassion for everything she has ever gone through on this planet, in her lifespan. And hopefully, bolster her for whatever else may come her way that she will have to also shoulder.
    Last edited by Diane; 05-07-2016, 07:45 PM.
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