Friday, August 1, 2014

Valley of the Shadow of Death

One of the orderlies has always been friendly towards me.  She's on the slow side, but would tell me about caring for her elderly mother.  She was thankful for my advice when she was making the decision to move her mother into a nursing home.  She selected a nursing home close to the hospital so she could visit her mother on her lunch break or after work.

The orderly's sister played a different role in the care of the mother.  It's a scenario that I encountered a lot in my years working at nursing homes.  One child lives near the mother and takes care of her; the other sibling lives further away, visits infrequently, yet criticizes the care provided by the sibling and hired caregivers.

The orderly's sister has filed complaints with the local police as well as The State, charging the orderly herself, other caregivers, and the nursing home with neglect and abuse, ranging from starving the mother to beating and raping her.  This is all without ever visiting the mother in the nursing home.

The orderly was telling me about the latest tall tale when she added, "My sister doesn't know how good she has it.  Many times, I was going to kill her, but I didn't.  She is lucky she's alive."

I simply nodded, thinking she did not literally mean her words.  Nope.  She did.

"One time, my sister was staying with me because she didn't have money for her own place.  She was shooting up pretty bad.  I found her out cold on my sofa one day, the needles on the floor.  I was going to put the pillow over her face and suffocate her.  I thought about it for a long time, but I ended up not doing it.  Another time, she was really getting to me, and so I picked up one of those long kitchen knives, you know, the kind you see in movies.  Right into her chest I was going to jab it.  But I didn't.  Another time, her back was to me, so I picked up the knife and was going to stab her right in her back.  So you see, my sister is lucky to be alive, but that stupid bitch doesn't even take that into account when she fucks with me.  She should be glad I found Jesus and won't kill her."

"Weren't you afraid of going to prison?" I asked.

"Of course I would have gone to jail!" she answered.  "But I would have plead insanity and been released."

"Why would you do this in a way that made you the only suspect?" I queried.

"Oh," the orderly paused, "You mean do it in a way so I wouldn't get caught in the first place?  I never thought about that."

I left her with a contemplative look on her face.  Thank goodness she has found Jesus.

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