There have been two elderly ladies in the Hospice Home where I visit for several months without having shown any significant decline in status. Both of these ladies have opted to transfer/move to rehab/nursing centers. The thought is they can better mingle with other folks and get a little more physical activity.
Both exhibit a depth of determination that underlines their vision. This is not what one would call a rally. This is a festering of life wanting to be lived. And so they moved.
Each to a different facility; each on the same day.
I visited the 97 year old on Wednesday evening; I remember she has commented that the nights get really lonely. The shock on her face when I knocked on her door and entered the room was palpable. The grin flashed quickly and grew as much a humanly possible. I was very clear to me that the move was very scary and once in place...the new place, very lonely. Just to know someone cares; it is written all over her face...the gratitude. It is the unexpected love that shocks you the most I think. The rehab hasn't started yet but she is hoping it will soon. She wants to walk again.
Then on Thursday I visited with the other lady. When I got to her room she was visibly emotionally drained, curled up in bed and in the dark...as much as could be in a semi-private room. When she heard my knock on the door she turned a little to see what was going on. Then the relief of seeing a friendly face overtook her. She was weak and crying. I hugged her and then hugged her some more, clearly this is the medicine she needed just then. We talked about the move and the settling in process, we walked to the solarium and talked a bit more. But really, it was the hugs that she really needed.