So today was the last day with one of my long term clients, she just turned 99 years old yesterday and I’ve been her CNA for about 7 months. I’m leaving for Taiwan about a month from now and things have been changing slowly the past couple months, with my changing school and work schedule, getting ready to leave Corvallis, and I’m finally reaching the end of the term for working this current job. I won’t be able to work for the same company when I come back just because I need to finish off my last two terms at OSU and move back to Portland, but this was my first job working as a CNA, I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be slowly letting go.
I never really thought when I started working how each client I have worked with could affect me in some way, no matter how much time I’ve spent with each one. It’s always a little hard to say goodbye to each one, but regardless I will always be grateful to be able to meet each individual, learning about their lives, and perspectives on life.
With each client I meet, I always ask them some of the same questions, one of my favorites to ask is “If you could give advice on love and marriage to young people like me, what would you give?”
Here are some of their answers plus some of my other favorite quotes. I really wished I started saving their answers when I first started working. But here’s what I found in my computer or phone.
"Without respect there is little that goes right, next if you are getting serious you must really love and must be sure before plunging into something.”
"Well, make sure you’re with someone that’s easy to live with, to get along with. And make sure you respect each other because without that you don’t have much."
"Don’t hold grudges too long, learn to let things go, you can’t keep holding and staying mad at them forever, you have to learn to work things out and talk with them, and just learn to let go."
"We worked in different departments in the Pentagon, I guess you could say it was office romance."
"Well, he came to work one late night and asked if we could talk. So we drove out for a little bit and parked and he told me he didn’t think he could see me anymore. We were just friends at the time but we had a lot of feelings for each other for awhile. And I asked him, well why not? And he told me because what he was feeling was getting too much and he didn’t think he could continue seeing me when he felt the way he did. He didn’t think I felt the same way back. And I told him I liked him back and just had as much feelings, and then we decided at that moment, that night we were it. He said let’s get married, and we did. My parents didn’t accept it at first but, we showed them we could work out. I became a widow once cancer got the best of him, but even though I’ve been a widow for 20 years and people tell me to find someone else, I refused. I know with everything that I can never love anyone more than I love him. There has been and never will be anyone like him. He was a good husband."
"We did a lot of things together, went camping, went out, we went dancing, and we traveled a lot. When you get married, the very first thing you have to do is really make sure, be very sure, when you’re together, you owe him as much as he owes you, you have to balance things out, goes back and forth. But also be careful of what you say, let things go, but sometimes, things can stay with you."
"What was your favorite thing about her?"
"Everything, I favored everything about her."
"Respect, you have to have respect. You see love is easy, it’s almost tangible, but it’s also something that can float away very easily. [starts talking about his wife]. She was the kind of person that if you made a joke and it was hurtful and everyone laughed, she went and laughed too even though it took a piece of her. She was so perfect, I thought she was wonderful, I still think so."
"I met my husband when I was a freshman in high school, I fallen for him back then, and I guess he fallen for me too because he would walk 7 miles to pass my house. Even though many events happened during the Great Depression and we were away from each other at times, after two years of being separated once, he still came back to me."