Mrs. M's Tulips

Medical history changes included a mini stroke, but she was doing better and still able to drive and get around with her walker.  Not too bad for an 88 year old, I suppose. Her husband had passed away a few years prior. She lived alone. Most of her family lived out of state.  The one who lived in state had his hands full with a special needs child and two other children, along with an ill wife. I proceeded with her cleaning, the whole time feeling so very sorry for her.  I couldn't lose the feeling that I should help her out. As I turned to the computer to check her out and schedule her next appointment, I looked at her address. She lived fairly close to my house.

I asked her if she would like to have my phone number in case of emergency...in case she needed something.  Honestly, I'm not sure why I was surprised she took it, but I was glad she did. I sent her on her way with homecare instructions and carried on with my day.

Less than a week later, my phone rang.  It was Mrs. M. She needed help and asked if I could come over.  Concerned, I asked her what the problem was. "I need my toenails clipped." she stated.

That's right.  It took me a few moments to process this.  

So, began the friendship of a 40 something year old with an 88 year old.

Through the next couple of years, I made several trips to Mrs. M's house.  Most of the trips were for toenail maintenance, some were to help with a few things around her house and occasionally, I'd bring groceries.  Talk of family, food, gardening, the Lord and quilting were a part of every conversation.

She was an avid quilter...still.  She donated all her quilts to Project Linus, which, after seeing how hard it was for her to get around and how her fingers were no longer straight, really touched my heart.  Not only did she stay busy with her quilts, she went to church every Sunday and still drove herself to all her doctor appointments. She flew up to NY to her hometown, which, by the way, is the same town I grew up in, and attended her 70th high school reunion.  She rented a car and found her way around all by herself. She stopped at the old farm where she grew up and talked with the homeowners. She truly amazed me.

Okay, the tulips should be addressed.  

Each time I went to Mrs. M's house, I looked around at all the wall hangings, the family photos, the nic-nacs, etc... She had a small, red tulip sun catcher hanging in her front window.  She was proud of it and mentioned tulips were one of her favorite flowers. You can learn a lot about a person just by observing their surroundings.

It was a sad day when I made my way to Mrs. M's house to tell her I was moving north to the mountains.  She was genuinely happy for me to be moving forward with a better job and to be living in wonderful area.  She gave me a big hug and sent me on my way.

These tulips are for Mrs. M.

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Melissa Jackson