After visiting the VA Hospital for three years one gets to know many of the residents. I like to refer to them as my regulars. Although rooms will get moved and roommates shifted a good many people have been there for many years. Maggie and I have gotten used to seeing these people every other Tuesday when we visit and they tell us they look forward to our visit as well.
So when I walked in last Tuesday after missing a week (because of my travel schedule) and was told two of my regulars had passed away I nearly stumbled over Maggie, as I had not been anticipating this .
Len was known for his chocolate candies (no he never gave any to Maggie) and his amazing orchards that were always in bloom on his window sill. I don’t know how long he resided at the VA but he was there longer then we had been visiting. He loved to watch old movies and we always had an interesting discussion about them. He always thanked me for stopping by. I know Maggie and I were there to offer him comfort, but every time I left his room I felt uplifted.
Len- rest in peace, I know you are in a place where there is no pain.
Bruce was a man of few words, but always eager to interact with Maggie. We could always find Bruce and his aide wandering the halls, sitting and watching TV or participating in horticulture class. I could see Bruce’s mind was on the go. I understand Bruce’s Mom would visit often although I never had the opportunity to meet her. I know she was a dedicated mother. I feel for her loss.
Two men living under the same roof living very different lives.
As an outsider the one amazing thing I admire about the VA hospital is the brotherhood and respect you feel. The Honor Guard comes forward when one passes. A person from the same division will put on their uniform and stand guard outside the room until the body is picked up by the morgue.
What a wonderful way to honor the deceased.