Papa Ed is the newest resident on the assisted living floor at Libertyville Manor. He is only one of two men. The other happens to also share his name -- Edmund. What are the chances, right?
He has a private room that has a nice sitting area. Next to his recliner sits a basket that holds his Time Magazines and the daily newspaper. There is a TV on a table, although figuring out the remote is tough. The oversized door, which does not have a lock, is best left partially open to encourage socialization and visits from neighbors.
When I got to the Manor yesterday, Papa's door was closed.
I knocked then went in. Papa was sitting in his recliner reading Thursday's paper (again). We sat and chatted for a few minutes. He told me about his night. ("Slept right through," he told me, but the nurse said he was up about four times.) I asked if he showered today. ("Of course!," he said. The nurse: "Not today.") I asked what he had for breakfast. ("Fried egg and one of those round things with a hole in the middle -- a donut -- but the menu on the wall told me it was French Toast.)
At 10:30, it was time for morning activities. Papa didn't want to go. He said he would rather sit in his room and read. Finally, I talked him into walking down to the activity room with me. The circle of residents were sitting in chairs and waiting for the activity to start.
We were late.
As a person who is always early so I don't have to figure out how to fit in, I started to panic a little bit. There was one chair left. The activity director waved us over and pointed to the chair. Papa and I walked over to it.
"Everyone, I want you to meet Ed, the newest member of our group," the activity director started.
Waves came at us from around the circle. Many said "hello."
A woman in a wheelchair next to Papa reached over to shake his hand. His name-twin Ed was sitting a few chairs down from him and gave a short wave when we looked his way.
My heart relaxed.
A wave is a powerful thing, isn't it?