Xavier moved down the hallway towards the Crowley apartment, ready to start the week and his shift as an aide working with Mr. Webb, Mrs. Crowley’s father. He had been working in this location for a few months now, and he liked this assignment. Mr. Webb was an older man with Alzheimer’s. While he had at first needed an aide to make sure he did not wander as dementia patients sometimes do, he had lately begun to require an aide to assist more with his daily self-care and maintenance. Xavier found Barney Webb easy to work with.
He rang the bell, and he heard Mrs. Crowley call out, “Dad, Xavier is here!”
He smiled as she opened the door.
“Good morning, Xavier!” she grinned, “Am I glad to see you.”
“Is he having a bad morning?” Xavier asked, putting down his backpack to follow her down the hallway towards Barney’s room.
“Not bad,” she shrugged, “He’s just being a little uncooperative.”
Xavier found Barney still in bed, staring at the wall.
“Hey!” Xavier called out, in a cheerful, teasing tone, “What’s going on here? Why are you still lying about in bed at this hour?”
Barney turned to look at him, and Xavier was pleased to see a smile tugging at the corner of Mr. Webb’s mouth.
“Come on, now,” Xavier cajoled him, “Let’s see how fast we can get you washed up and dressed. I think I smell pancakes!”
Chloe smiled in appreciation. She gazed fondly at her father, and Xavier was sure she winked at him, too, as she turned to go back to the kitchen to finish making breakfast. Xavier bent down to help Barney sit up, and he gently helped him begin the process of getting up and ready to face the day.
During the afternoon, Xavier and Barney headed outside for the park. They walked up and down for a bit so that Barney could get some exercise, and then they sat on the bench watching the birds for a while. It was a fairly quiet day until they saw Annelise approaching.
“Grandpa Barney,” she said, happily, giving him a hug, “Hi, Xavier!”
“Hello, Annelise,” Xavier said.
“I brought my painting,” she said, unfolding the rolled up paper she was holding. “I brought it home from school. It’s you, Grandpa Barney. See? You are sitting here on the bench, and there are the flowers and the trees.”
Barney smiled and turned to look at Xavier.
“No, I’m not in the picture,” Xavier smiled, “It’s very nice, isn’t it?”
Barney smiled and touched the picture.
“I think he likes it,” Xavier told Annelise.
“I want him to have it,” she said, “Can you ask Chloe to hang it on his wall?”
“I surely will,” Xavier promised her.
Later when he took Barney back inside, the first thing they did was hang Annelise’s painting on Barney’s bedroom wall. When Xavier left that afternoon, Barney was sitting in the chair in his room, gazing at the painting on his wall.
Image courtesy of Pinterest