Yolanda looked up as the main doors opened. She was in the process of helping one of the patients walk down the hallway.
“That’s it, Mrs. Landry,” she said.
Yolanda smiled at a young couple as they walked by her with a young girl and a toddler in his stroller. Several of the patients were excited to see the children. They kept stopping the young couple to smile, wave at or talk to the children and their parents.
“Okay, Mrs. Landry,” Yolanda said, “Here we are. I thought you might like to sit next to Adelaide.”
“Thank you,” Mrs. Landry said, as she let Yolanda settle her in the chair. Yolanda picked up a nearby light-weight blanket and tucked it around Mrs. Landry’s legs.
Yolanda did a quick scan of the area to make sure none of the other patients needed anything. She straightened a pillow behind Mr. Stevens’ back and patted his hand when he smiled up at her. She headed back to the nurse’s station.
“Anything else need doing, Phyll?” she asked her co-worker Phyllis.
“I think we’re good at the moment,” Phyllis sighed, “A break in the chaos. Whoops, there goes the bell for Mr. Webb’s room.”
“I’ll get it,” Yolanda told her, turning to head back down the hallway.
When she got to the room, she found that the young family who had come in had gone to Mr. Webb’s room.
“Sorry to bother you,” the woman said, “He seems to be out of water.”
“No problem,” Yolanda smiled, “I’ll get him some more.”
She went to fill a Styrofoam cup with ice water. After she’d attached a lid and straw, she took it back to the room.
“… and I went on a school trip this week, Grandpa Barney,” the young girl was chattering away when she went back in.
“I didn’t realize Mr. Webb had grandchildren,” Yolanda smiled.
“Honorary grandchildren,” the mother smiled, “I’m Holly, and this is my husband Joe, daughter Annelise and son Robbie. Annelise adopted Barney in the park a few years ago. They’ve been fast friends since.”
“He has perked up a lot,” Yolanda said. She went over to straighten Mr. Webb’s pillow and lap rug where he sat in his chair.
“He has always had a soft spot for children,” Joe said, “He used to run the hardware store in town – out where the supermarket is now, and he was a big fan of the kids. He’d fix their bikes for free, and they’d stop by there all the time to tell him of their exploits.”
“I never knew that,” Yolanda said, “He’s one of my favorite patients. On his good days, he always has a smile for me. He’s never a bother.” She patted Barney’s shoulder. “Well, I’ll get back to work. You let me know if he needs anything else.”
“Thank you,” Holly said.
“Grandpa Barney, Robbie can say elevator!” Annelise told him as Yolanda walked out.
Yolanda smiled and went back to the nurse’s station.
“What’s so funny?” Phyllis asked her.
“Oh, nothing, I was just smiling at how cute those kids are who are visiting Mr. Webb. I’ve never seen them before.”
“They come in a couple of times a week – usually during the afternoon before you get here. Nice family,” Phyllis said.
“I thought so,” Yolanda said.
She turned as an older male patient shuffled up to the desk to ask for help with a jigsaw puzzle he was working on. She went over to referee what was quickly becoming an arguing match over the puzzle pieces.
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