Today at Lieberman:
I greeted Barry who is always sitting in the same seat by the front door and he replied, "Hi Michael!"
Sandy told me that she is going in for a knee replacement next week. She told me all about it in detail. She is fortunate that her daughter will come in to help. Could I please keep an eye on her husband (a Lieberman Resident.) Can I chat him up when I see him and can I make sure he gets down to the Sunday Entertainment?
Batia shared that she got a new wheel chair, a handsome black leather one, and that it is good.
Bill wanted me to sit by him in the community room during the entertainment so I put my chair between him and Gregory.
Shirley, Rose, and PK were sitting outside the front door by the circle drive. I always say hello to Shirley and PK but Rose was new to the group. I introduced myself to her and PK joined that she "convinced Rose to join the Circle Group"
To which Rose asked, "What is the Circle Group?"
To which Shirley replied, "The group of AKs (Alta Kockers - Old Shits in Yiddish) who sit around the circle driveway like we are doing.
Somehow PK got around to sharing that she was a "Mick." I told her I was not familiar with that expression and she explained that it was a derogatory word for an Irish person. "At least," she added, "It wasn't Lace Curtain Irish which referred to a blue-collar or working class Irish person who was trying to leave behind their roots and become middle class hoitey toitey.
PK remembered that there was a time when employment classified ads said, "Irish need not apply." Shirley said that it was the same for Jewish.
Upstairs I chatted with Monroe. He joked that the president was named after him. He is a friendly, sweet looking man who is in his middle 90s and comes to visit his wife who is in her late 80's. She has very advanced Dementia / Alzheimer's but still smiles a lot and is full of love. Every now and then she will come up to me and give me a big, unexpected hug. Of course I hug back.
Monroe asked who I have at Lieberman and I told him, "That young tall good looking guy in the wheel chair that just passed us." He asked if I was his father and laughing I told him no, Gregory is my boyfriend, accent on boy! We have been together in a relationship, I explained, for over 40 years. Mazel Tov he told me, "Congratulations!"
I have found that most of the AKs accept Gregory and my same sex commitment as if it were everyday ordinary. I guess by the time you get that old, you gain some perspective on the fact that the only things that matter is when two people love each other.
Jordan, one of Gregory's table mates at dinner, has decided that I am part of the management team for his large furniture company. He'll ask for my advice on how many men and trucks I think we'll need, if the traffic will allow for an early delivery, and how I think the customer relations department is doing. Other times he is pissed at me when I cannot "Drive me home!" "Call my G-d Damn son to come get me for dinner." "Get me out of here!" etc The other day he fired the Fifth Floor's Social Worker!
I do consider conversation and listening as something that I can freely share. How much does it cost me and what a priceless gift it is to give!