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The Old Woman


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The old woman sat, as she always sat. In a 'comfortable', wing backed arm chair. The kylie was under a bit of her bottom. It was intended to catch any urine she may pass as she sat, for she was incontinent. There was little chance of it working as it was not positioned correctly, and it was wrinkled and hurting her bottom. No one took any notice of her. The life of the home went on around her as it did for many of the residents. The staff were happy to get through each shift with the same number of 'service users' at the end as they had at the beginning. That was their definition of a good shift. They could go off to their homes. Going as fast as their little legs could carry them, away to their lives, their families, a hot meal and a glass or two of red.

The old woman sat, as she always sat. She could see what they were doing; if they remembered to put her glasses on for her! She could eat, even the mush that they said she had to eat; if they remembered to put her dentures in! The problem was that they had to find them first!! She could walk, a bit; but they insisted upon using a wheelchair. She could speak a bit, make her feelings known; but no one could be bothered to sit and get to know her, to sit and understand her. So she flew into rages because of her frustration. She became so incandescent sometimes and then they had to take notice. They were 'not her people', did not understand and they were trying to 'do her in' with those tablets that stuck in her throat.

The old woman sat, as she always sat. Her bottom was getting sore from the wrinkled kylie. She could not recognise anything around her. She did not want to be there. She wanted to be in her own home, surrounded by her own things. They had brought some of her stuff in with her. Some bits of furniture in her room. That old bookcase that belonged to her father; She loved it for the memories it brought back. That certificate she had been given for her war service. The photo hanging on the wall, it was of her wedding day to her beloved Jack; mind you, it also made her wonder where Jack had gone sometimes. They said he had gone to the shops, or the war, or work. All she knew for sure was that she had not seen him in ages. One said that he was dead, quite brutally and that made her feel sad for a moment.

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