Sunday, January 21, 2007

Happy 95th Birthday Mrs P!

Yesterday Mrs. P celebrated her 95th birthday. Imagine living for 95 years... all the wisdom you'd achieve and all of the changes you'd see happen in the world.

The day before her birthday I decided to take Mrs. P out for a special girls afternoon. We went to Fashion Island and had a stop at "The Warehouse" to pick up some wine glasses for the party. For those of you who don't know, the Warehouse is like Wal-mart. Mrs. P had never been to a store like that before and she was amazed that you could get everything you'd possibly need in one place! She enjoyed looking through the aisles at all of the stuff. Her biggest complaint was the fact that there were no suitable places for an elderly person to sit and rest. She was forced to sit on a fiberglass toadstool in the garden department for a while and then a hard wooden bench in the shoe department.

The foodcourt outside was no better - only hard plastic chairs. Her poor bottom! I went into a restaurant to ask if they would mind if I had lunch there and if Mrs. P could bring something in from somewhere else (there was nothing on the menu she could eat). They were very obliging and their seats were very comfortable! We had a nice rest.

We stopped in at Rob and Sharyn's on our way past. Rob's mum Rebecca was visiting from the far north. She is 89 and a true old fashioned Maori lady. She was absolutely lovely and full of warmth. Rob's sister and nieces were also there - it was a housefull. The guys were out collecting mussels for dinner down at the beach. The moment we arrived they all stopped what they were doing (including the children) to greet us. They all gave us a hug and a kiss on the cheek in true Maori fashion. Rebecca gave Mrs. P an extra long hug out of respect. (Mrs. P said afterward that she felt so honoured and welcome into their home). We had a nice visit and the household just hummed with activity. Rob's sister made Maori fried bread in the kitchen, the girls sat quietly and listened to the old ladies talk, the kids quietly played outside. You could tell that everyone in that family was brought up right. Rebecca had 9 children of her own and adopted one more (Rob) - she has over 80 great-grandchildren and I can't remember how many great-great grandchildren! Mrs. P was delighted that she'd met her match.

The two of them sat and chatted together like young women. It was touching to watch. Both Sharyn and I felt so honoured to share in such a special moment.

Mrs. P was worn out by the time I got her home that afternoon. She will talk about that visit forever.

The following day (yesterday) was her birthday. In the morning she had a visit from Tracy 2 and Jeanette - her two other carers who relieve me. It was nice for all of us to sit and chat and share Mrs. P's birthday with her. We all make such a big fuss over her and I know that makes her feel very special. I'm really lucky to have Tracy 2 and Jeanette to share the load. Each of us serves a different purpose in the job - Jeanette provides a lot of conversation & stimulation, Tracy 2 enjoys cooking and helps me tremendously by making a lot of heat'n serve meals, and I do the majority of the housework and household shopping as well as making sure that medical appointments are up to date and that Mrs. P's well looked after. Things are running smoother now that the three of us are on board as a team.

The family was coming to share the evening with her. Out of 7 children, 23 grand children and 24 great grand children I would imagine there'd be quite a crowd! It is my weekend off so I wasn't there but I'm sure she had a wonderful time!

Happy Birthday Mrs. P! You are an amazing woman - so kind and generous, so giving to everyone and so understanding of what makes the world work. You inspire me everyday.

1 comment:

Monica said...

Happy Belated Birthday from Canada, Mrs. P!