Friday, November 7, 2014

The Drop

Thursday is flower day on the second floor: 
a nearby grocery store donates their past week's flowers before the fresh lot arrives for the weekend. Sometimes it's just a few buckets. This week we got a grocery cart full of bouquets. 

I spread the flowers out on the long activities table and invited everyone around to help cut off the cellophane sleeves.

Rob [not his real name] is a quiet man who spends most of his time doing puzzles, alone but at a table in the public area. (Some people stay alone in their rooms.) 
When I ask him if he want to do something, mostly he just shrugs. I haven't been sure if he's hard of hearing, doesn't fully comprehend me, or truly doesn't care one way or another. He shrugged at the flowers, but got up and walked over to the table.

I'm trying to be calmer at work, but with all these flowers, and lots of people needing advice, I was in a bit of a flurry. I took the flowers Rob had freed and shoved them in a vase. The florists usually sheath the floppy stems of gerbera daisies in a green plastic straw, but they'd missed one.

"Oh, look at this one," I said to Rob, holding up a daisy that was flopped-over in half. 
"We'll have to..." I paused, distracted.

". . . put it in the middle," Rob finished.

"Oh," I said, "right. Yes, I'll put it in the middle where the other ones will support it." 

In fact, I had been going to say "throw it out."
______________________________
One of these days I'm going to do some of my own art again, but in the meanwhile, here's this nifty watercolor by blogger Elizabeth Merriman:

7 comments:

The Crow said...

Seems Rob has solved the issue - put the 'droopy' people in the midst of those who can support them.

I love these posts.

Fresca said...

Yes, that's what I thought too!
He himself doesn't seem to like to interact with people but wants to be in the midst of them.

I'm glad you like these posts---writing them helps me think about the people I am meeting and learning to work with.

Zhoen said...

Probably what I'd be like, doing a puzzle quietly while other people chat and buzz about.

Zhoen said...

Oh, wait, that's exactly what I'm like right now.

Elizabeth B. Merriman said...

I found it... so happy to see it used... I am also a senior and greatly benefit from volunteers that come to help and serve at our retirement community.

Fresca said...

ZHOEN: LOL! I resent the philosophy I heard at the recent training that we workers should encourage everyone to participate in activities.

No! I spoke up and said some people never wanted to do group activities before, why should they want to now?

The perky presenter gave a token nod to that.
"Yes, some people are passive participants," she said.

I did not further argue something like that they are not "passive," they are active but within themselves.

ELIZABETH: Oh, good! I'm glad you are happy to see your flower shared.
Your other watercolors are great too. I work with people with dementia so they don't get the same clear results, but it seems watercolor is an engaging medium that most people really love painting with.
Maybe it's the wonderful effects of WATER...

Lady Chardonnay said...

I LOVE THIS STORY SO MUCH.

Even extroverts and otherwise confident people need to be in the middle sometimes, surrounded by the sturdier flowers.

Love that Rob was able to see it. LOVE.