Walking into the Nursing home dining room Reba pointed to a round table by the wall that faces a window.
Reba: “I always sit here.”
Candyce: “Oh, okay we sit here!”
She had wispy white hair and bright green eyes behind glasses. She sat in her wheelchair, hands folded in front of her on the table, nonsmiling.
Candyce: So Reba, were you ever married?”
Reba: “Yes, once. He was in the Vietnam war, died of exposed to Agent Orange.” (later looked this up because I didn’t know what it was, it’s a chemical compound.)
Candyce: “Oh. That’s sad. Did you have any children?”
Reba: “Yes, one, a daughter and I have 4 grandchildren.”
Candyce: “Do you ever get to see them?”
Reba: She looks up with her bright green eyes. “No never.… I thought I saw him, my husband. But it was a hallucination. I saw him in the lobby.”
Candyce: “Have you see him before?”
Reba: “Oh yes 2-3 or times. Anyway, I thought I saw him one time when there was some men working, and I thought he was with them and I broke down.”
Reba: “He went into war because these bootleggers hired him, and the police came told him to put his hands up and he had a flask of whiskey, it slipped and they arrested him and put him into jail, he went to court and the judge gave him a choice, one of them was war. He chose to go to war.”
Reba: “I only married once, never divorced.”
Reba: “I paint you know, I am in Artist, brought two of my paintings with me.”
Candyce: “I would love to see them.”
Reba: “You are welcome to come and see them. I took painting lessons, the German woman who taught it told me I was the only person who just came in and started painting right away.
She smiles again.
Reba: “I got through it all, By God, he gave me a piece of mind.”
Reba: “Love and hope and all the good things.”