He used to dance, carry refrigerators up the stairs; he was a medic in Germany. Now he can't even move from his wheelchair to his armchair without help because his knees are so bad.
She used to be a nursing assistant like me, she used to work overnights in a factory; she used to ride her bike - I can imagine it - a big smile, hair in the wind, passing the cars on the residential streets. Now she can't walk very far and always needs someone with her in case she falls.
When I come to work, I deal with what needs to be done, I read the directions of words on paper, I make lists and initial med books. But when I come to work, I have moments when my heart aches for the people, the people who used to be and now live frustrated and stifled. My heart aches, but I can't fix it for them. I give it to God and try to let them talk, relive their days and relieve their frustration. That extra moment before he goes to bed where he tells me about his wife and kids and his motor homes, those times in the bathroom where she tells me jokes she heard from someone else and repeats back the events of the entire day, listening is a gift I can give.