The nurse stopped me:“Did you check the mail? Lydia’s son sent her a wreath Friday. It should arrive anytime.” I looked in the mail box, no package. I was off the following day. When I returned to work, I checked with the nurse, as I do every morning:”Anything new since Tuesday? –Lydia received her wreath. The son called us with very strict instructions. The wreath should be inside her room, nowhere else. If his mother disagrees, we should hang the wreath high, out of her reach, at a time when she is not in the room. We tried. It did not work. She does not want the wreath in her room. –Where is it now?” The nurse pointed to a large flat cardboard box, under her desk.
Lydia is very social and active. I did not have to wait long before she came up to me:”How are you? My son sent me a wreath. It’s too big for my room. I would like to put it somewhere for everyone to enjoy. Can you help me?–Let’s discuss that at the morning group. We can look at it together and decide what to do.”
When all the participants of our community group had been seated, I brought the box in. They were curious: “What is it? –Lydia received a wreath from her son. Let’s look at it.” Slowly I pulled a heavy plastic bag from the cardboard box. A strong pine smell filled the room. When I reached for the bag opening, a pile of loose needles fell suddenly on the floor. I pulled the wreath out. The needles were very dry and a few twigs were already bare. I could not imagine putting this inside; far too flammable and the staff was going to complain of the loose needles. I proposed “Could we hang it outside? We could see it through the windows. It would be much safer.” There was agreement that the wreath would look good against the outside fence, in the middle of our plants.
I rummaged through my ribbon box and found a strong green cotton lace.
“Lydia, do you mind guiding me? I will go outside. Please, tell me the best spot.” Lydia went to her dining room table; she wanted to be able to see the wreath during her meals. Following her indications, I secured the wreath against the fence. It looked great there with its big red bow.
We all thanked Lydia for sharing the decoration with us.
During the afternoon group, Lydia asked: “I have an announcement to make to the group. My son gave me a wreath. If you look outside there, you can see it.” We all gathered close to the window. The night was falling. It was hard to see the wreath because the glass was reflecting the lights inside the room. But we talked about the wreath and thanked Lydia. She asked me: “Could you take a picture? I want to send it to my son.”
She regularly mentioned the wreath that day and the following days. Each time she would straighten her posture and expand her chest, smiling.
I took a picture. When I gave her one print for her son she asked me for a second one, to put in her room.