Wednesday, March 4, 2009

When You Turn Fifty...

Anybody with any experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities will attest to the fact that the best quotes often come from them. Lowell and I used to jot down the ones that we thought were especially funny. And I think that this is a good outlet to share some of the best. So, when we have good days, I'll share a favorite quote or two.

One woman with whom we lived always had the best zingers. She would pop out with things like, "I'm not coming to your funeral" or "I may visit, but I'm not putting flowers on your grave." When Lowell and I would get irritated at one another (and it does happen occasionally), we would often threaten not to put flowers on the other's grave. We also loved the day she emerged from her room complaining about a peer. She kept telling us that the peer needed to go to the doctor. When we asked what kind of doctor, she responded, "the nerve doctor 'cause she is getting on all my nerves!"

But my favorite interaction with her came the day we were talking about death (one of her very favorite subjects, as strange as it may seem). She was 77 years old, diabetic, had a heart condition and had lost a lot of family and friends in her lifetime. She was telling me over and over again, "When you turn 50, you die." About the sixth time she said this, I asked "Well how are you?" She thought about it a minute, looked at me dead on and said, "Well I reckon right close to 50."

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