I miss visiting with Wyetta. I miss our talks, sitting at her kitchen table. We would talk about literature, art, travel, religion, gardening, the environment, our children, the general state of the world, our memories from childhood, photography. I'd often bring photos to show her. Except for my husband, I found I had more in common with Wyetta than with anyone else in this world. We share an outlook on life.
We have known one another for more than thirty years. In "the good old days" we spent many hours together - often with our children as well - always with cameras in hand, roaming the beautiful Jersey shore, fields and forests.
I don't see Wyetta often these days. For many months we never saw one another at all. I wrote to her, but she couldn't write back. It wasn't a very satisfactory arrangement. For well over a year now, Wyetta has been in hospitals or nursing homes. Today she finds herself in a convalescent facility within an hour's drive of my home, and every couple of weeks I manage a visit.
It's usually early morning when I start up the Parkway. I pull into one of the parking areas, hoping against hope to find an empty space somewhere near the rear door of the building. Sometimes I get lucky. It's a long walk down the hallway, no matter how close the parking. I don't do long walks very well these days. It's a very cheery building though. Lots of windows looking out onto pleasant landscaping. Several large community areas with comfortable seating and big screen TV's. Best of all, the staff is always smiling and friendly, from the men mopping the floors and the young women who change the bed linen, through the nurses and therapists. All are courteous and ready to help either patients or visitors.
Wyetta's room is near the end of the corridor, in the respiratory unit. Her face always lights up when she sees me. It's a little difficult to give her a hug and kiss. The trach gets in the way. But we manage. I usually bring her fresh fruit. She claims the food is terrible, and sometimes her breakfast tray is still in the room, untouched. She makes short work of an apple or a bunch of grapes. We'll chat for a while. Well, I chat. She mouths the words while I try to read her lips. At least once or twice during the visit she'll tell me, "I want to go home!" When I took her a picture of her house, she held it and stared at it for a long time. I took her a picture of herself that I had put onto the cover of Vogue, through magmypic.com. She got a kick out of that one. I asked if she thought her daughters might enjoy being put on a magazine cover. She told me "Ebony", but magmypic doesn't offer that one.
I don't stay too long with her. She tires easily. So it's another hug, and I say good-bye til next time. Wyetta is such a beautiful person. I am very fortunate to have her in my life.
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Oh she is beautiful bobbie and BELONGS on that cover. It's hard to watch people we love struggle. I'm sure your visits mean so much to Wyetta (what a lovely name). You're a good soul bobbie :)
"I want to go home" - that made me cry.
I loved reading this. It's really interesting (though hard!) for somebody as young as I am to get some perspective on what it's like to have your friends begin to fade. I'm glad you offered yours.
Actually, hot mama, although I am older, Wyetta is only in her 50's. So it is doubly hard to see her completely incapacitated. I also felt it was unusual that I found someone as young as she with whom I was so compatible. It just happened that we do seem to have similar backgrounds and interests, and that we had children the same age. Most of my older friends are deceased, or suffering from the usual problems that come with age.
what a beautiful face she has. She is lucky to have you for a friend, Bobbie. Not many people would travel that far so often. But I know how great it is to have a friend like that. Mine is 14 years older than I, so I know I run the chance of not having her too many more years. It will be a sad, sad day when I lose her.
Ah, I understand. She's gorgeous and is lucky to have a friend like you!
A lovely testamonial to a long and beautiful friendship.
I loved reading about your friendship - thanks for sharing.
This was touching, sincere, warm, a little sad. And I love the Vogue photo.
beautiful, beautiful picture.
A beautiful, uplifting tale of a deep friendship, Bobbie.
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