I whipped around the roundabout in Sedona and took the exit that turns off into the nursing home where my friend, Betty, lives. She and I laugh together about everyday life. Betty has an engaging way of tilting her head to the side and smiling as we discuss baseball, family and purses. Betty loves my purses. She especially likes the ones that are colorful and have sequins. I like to brighten her day with samples of homemade sweets and greeting cards. Recently I designed a card for her with hopes to tickle her funny bone.
Betty showed me her new CD player during my visit. It sits next to her recliner chair and oxygen machine. She turned it on and set the volume high as we listened to Cracklin Rosie by Neil Diamond. “Isn’t he wonderful, honey?” Betty asked.
I told her he’s one of my favorites too. “What does that mean ‘store bought woman’?” Betty asked.
I explained to Betty he’s singing about a bottle of wine that he spent the night with…his store bought woman.
“Oh, o.k. . . . . How old is he, honey?” She had me there. Could his age be 71? We looked to Google and learned Neil turned 75! Betty, at 94, joked that he’s too young for her!
“Cheer up, Betty, lots of guys these days go for older women,” I teased.
Betty told me she has other CD’s, but she only listens to Neil. I told Betty about the wedding anniversary in Phoenix one year when I attended Neil’s concert with my husband. I told her how wonderful he sounds in person. “He is a showman, Betty, and works hard on stage belting out all his former hits. He loves his audience.” She hung on my every word!
When I left Betty’s room, I sat in my car contemplating our friendship. Somewhere in her long life wisdom showed her the way to love people, appreciate things and endure hardships. Clearly she is aging and looking very tired. Her example teaches me that though the physical body wears out, the spirit stays strong. Every new day is a gift.
After my visit, I enjoyed making a homemade card for Betty. On the front of the white pressed linen card stock, I glued a black and white picture of Neil Diamond. I wrote inside how much I love her and the how the joy inside her bounces off to me.
Oh to be able to see her face when the mail came to her room! Then, again, maybe it’s a simple pleasure for her to reflect on her favorite singer who brightens her listening hours while she reads words from a friend who thinks she’s delightful!
I realize it’s the little everyday things in life that matter most.
And thank you, Neil Diamond, for entertaining an old gal. Make that two old gals!