On her wheelchair, curved back, head bent down, hands busy on a crosstitch project, “what is your dream?” I ask my hundred year old client. Raising her head looking at me, “what?” is her reply. “Do you have a dream?” in a much louder, clearer and words enunciated very slowly I ask her. “I don’t know”, the only reply I get after a short afterthought.
Probably her earphone wasn’t on or wasn’t working which happens all the time admitting that she doesn’t hear the tv as well. Or my question is so foreign and new nobody dared asked her at this stage of her life. Or because a hundred year old is not expected to dream such that entertaining a mere thought is illegal, unethical or immoral as what I am doing. Is it?
Bantering with this lady is an impossible endeavor because all I get is “what?” or “I didn’t hear it”. Once when she went for lunch with her family all she contributed to the conversation was that unforgetable colored toilet paper apparently the daughter-in-law stole decades ago.
I wanted to get more information from this hundred year old lady, her dreams or visions, if any, if she still have it. To a younger person like me or anyone younger than me this is not a problem, we have plenty.
When I had the opportunity the following time, I ask her, “what are you doing?” To make my question comprehensible, simpler and audible. So she said she is making these pieces of crosstitch project that she plans to give her grandchildren on christmas. “And how many do you have?” “twelve” was the answer.
The weather was gorgeous, warm and breezy when I took her outside and I pose again that question, “what do you want to do?” and the predictable response was, “I don’t know”. I had to shut my mouth and control myself I can’t extract more substantive info from this lady. When someone who doesn’t hear perfectly, or has difficulty speaking due to denture problem says I don’t know, it is precisely those reasons why, not that they don’t know.
When I was asked that same question ages ago I was stupefied. First, I really don’t know. Second, life was getting complicated growing up not only that I have to know what I need to know but I have to dream of what I wanted. Why did I want to want a dream.
Suddenly she called, “let’s go”. Yes, I know it’s 4:30, time for her dinner. Now I have to keep on dreaming myself.
The picture above are some crosstitch project she does to pass away her dream.