Written by Bryan Finnigan
I made a commitment. When I was first asked to write for the chronicle I made a deal with myself that I would honor the statement, “My Life as I See it.” What this means to me is that no matter where a person is in their life journey I would respect their perspective in the moments we spend together. Facts may be lost, names might fade into the distance, and self-awareness may come and go but I believe that pure communication happens at a deeper level – transcendent of any cognitive limitations. Words may fail us but that doesn’t mean we stop communicating…
Dimple Santos doesn’t slow down. I met with her right after lunch and she was immediately up on her feet for a few laps around the third floor. When I said, “I think you have more energy than me.” She playfully replied, “I don’t believe that.”
Dimple was soft spoken and wasn’t too interested in any of my questions. Her eyes were bright, her smile was illuminating and instead of a traditional interview I felt her inviting me into a different perspective. I joined her, and what I found was a world of creative expression.
I followed Dimple up and down the hallway, listening and taking notes as she quietly shared her thoughts. I knew she wanted to say something and felt it was up to me to figure out what she wanted to say. Trusting my intuition I stepped back and just listened.
Dimples thoughts were lyrical and rich in poetry. Each phrase a burst of beauty while at the same time a piece to a bigger puzzle. That’s when I decided that the best way to honor her perspective in the moments we were together was by arranging all of her thoughts into an untitled poem. Hopefully by doing this I have honored Dimple’s thoughts and her feelings.
Please take a moment and hear what Dimple has to say…
“It knows where it is going, I don’t think it’s all that bad. It knows what it’s doing,
at the tail end of the hall.
It was the Summer and she was just a little baby We waited around until she started running.
It knows where it’s going.
Big brother. Big brother.
They would play a long time ago.
They would fix it up and make it look nice.
I save my time. Most people stop. I know better.
Every resident on the third floor has a small personalized display case on the outside of their apartment; shadowboxes full of pictures and mementos from their lives. A quick glance at the whole person instead of a focus on the current challenges they face. Occasionally Dimple and I would stop walking and I would watch as she attempted to pry one of these shadowboxes off of the wall.
At first glance you might think that Dimple doesn’t know what she’s doing, but on a deeper, perhaps a poetic level… she may have been trying to unlock those boxes and help set everyone’s memories free.
We are all communicating. Just step back and listen.
A Memory Care Community
4518 54th Street • San Diego, CA 92115
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