Leaving Orchard Creek

Almost 5 AM on my last morning at OC.  In a few hours, I will go to breakfast, pack the last of my possessions here, and travel the 2 miles down the road to home.

Two miles: it will seem like two hundred.  I am looking forward to freedom from 24 hour tv noise, and to my own food (bring on the yogurt and cottage cheese!) and watching the birds at the bird feeder.  Most of all, though, my music: today I am going to spend time on the whistle, and tomorrow I think I can retrieve my hurdy gurdy from the glass storage case, and start to play it again, after so many months. I will have my dogs, and my cat who won’t believe her good luck at having a warm body to curl up with on the bed in the living room.

Yep.  I will once again have those riches, and I will value them more than ever.  But I will be bringing some personal riches to my life—call it the ‘legacy of Orchard Creek’.  Most of all I have learned that there is a subset of wonderful people I never really knew existed: the caregivers who work here. They are patient beyond belief, well-trained, and skilled. From them I have learned patience and customer care. I’ve also learned a lot about aging and the courage that aging takes, as well as the self discipline of personal care and maintenance.

I’ve watched the community of people who care for the aged: sons and daughters, friends and spouses—spending every meal with the resident here at OC and participating in the recovery process as if it were their own. And I’ve shared in the journeys of my companions in patient living—their frustrations at failures and celebrations of small victories, and the everlasting optimism and faith which keeps them moving forward in the pursuit  of health and independent living.

I’ve found new friends here…people who wouldn’t have enriched my life if I hadn’t chosen to come here. (My Dove chocolate thought: “Friendship is a gift in itself”).  And I’ve come to value my old friends, too—the  ones who have visited me, sent emails and cards, posted to this blog. 

Thanks to you all.  Leaving Orchard Creek is bittersweet—you will remain in my heart.

Gertie

(Judith Lindenau: Judith@judithlindenau.com)

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6 thoughts on “Leaving Orchard Creek

  1. I’ll just bet the boys and your kitty were very happy to see you – as you are to see them, I’m sure. And I’m glad that you are home now. Home is good. Very, very good.

  2. Thanks to you all for your good wishes…and Patty, I will miss YOU, too. I really do wish I could count on you to change those @!$&&*@! TED stockings and put cream on my legs…remember, I am only 2 miles down the road, and I always have CHOCOLATE!!!!

  3. Hey Judith!
    It was such a pleasure getting to know you and you just cracked me up! I loved the fact that you were on your laptop all the time whether it be typing or shopping online, you don’t see that too often at the O.C.! Hope all is well and good luck with everything you do. Merry Christmas!

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