I spend my time doing all kinds of things that are unhealthy. Examples: Binge watching Game of Thrones, or Outlander. Binge reading. Or, well, binge eating. I also enjoy creating my own stories that come from my day dreaming, and creating art. Whether it be drawing, painting or sculpting. Oh! And singing. I sing all the time.

The other day, our high school creative writing class took a field trip to the local nursing home. Our goal was to find a willing resident and find their story. However, my partner and I had no such luck. Jacob and I had found ourselves stuck, stuck with a resident who did nothing but sit and stare. Our questions towards her received one or two word answers, and sometimes even silence. Perhaps we spoke too low for her weathered ears to have heard. So we sat there like that. In awkward silence for a while.
But then, as there was nothing else to do, I looked around and thought, well who could blame her? Out of the few answers we were able to gather from this woman, we had found out that she loved her sister. They grew up on a farm together while they were young. They were close, and she was the exact opposite of her. While she was quiet, and repressed her words and feelings, her sister was lively, and always talking. We had asked her if her sister was here, if we could talk to them both. And no, she was not. In fact, she had passed away.
On top of that, she did not get many visitors. This poor woman probably wasn’t use to getting many people to talk to, nor did she seem very willing. We also leaned she enjoyed books. I remember thinking that was probably what she did instead of think. Like me, she would submerge herself in a book and forget the world. Though she would not tell us what books she reads, I’d like to think they are adventures.
After finding that asking questions was pointless, we continued to sit there. After another ten minutes, we asked her if she would like to go back to her room, but she declined. I believe she just wanted company, so that’s what we gave her. I enjoyed it. It made me think of my grandmother I lost when I was 10. Sometimes she would tell stories, sometimes she just sat there looking into space, but without wanting you to leave. She wanted company. So I hope you give you the elder people in your life the time of your company. It’s worth it. You can make their day by just stopping by, I promise.

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