I had the honor of teaching skin care to 9 “experienced” women at the Greenview Assisted Living in Uniontown, Ohio. This activity always makes my heart happy because I get to see residents, whose lifestyles has slowed down over the years, look at themselves in a little different way. My hope is that they feel pampered and pretty.
Sometimes they say”oh, I never wear makeup anymore. No reason to…” But yesterday this group of women were like a little social support system. They complimented one another on their lipstick shade or offered assistance if they did not blend their cheek color sufficiently! One woman in particular– I will call her Irene–was cute as ever.
When one of the women complimented her new “look,” she joked “I think you are ready for a date!” Irene smiled and said, “I have already had the love of my life.” And it was the WAY she said it that struck me. It was not with a bittersweet tone or sadness, but a grateful acceptance. She loved, and loves, her deceased husband but is happy for the 60 plus years they had together. And she spoke her story lovingly about how her grandfather had been killed in the coal mines of Pennsylvania, they moved to Ohio and her family taught her to appreciate and enjoy the moments., more than things.
And her outlook on moving to an assisted living facility was remarkable. Her husband had developed Alzheimers so they moved to Greenview two years ago and when he lost his battle with that disease, she stayed there and regrets not one day. “I feel so safe here, and it is like paradise on earth” My immediate thought was of admiration and inspiration. You hear stories of the elderly dreading the thought of moving out of their homestead, or expressing anger. But here is a woman who is grateful for everything she has, children who live nearby and her children, who have to travel to see her. She is grateful for being near a freeway so they can get there easily when they are able.
This is a woman who has lived her life well. And appreciates all that she has . “And the food is really good too! ” She chirped happily.