Thursday, May 21, 2009

Queen for a day

Years ago I did the monthly newsletter for a nursing home. Each month they had a featured "Queen" whose picture would be on the front page. I would interview the honoree and write up a brief story of her history and family. It was always interesting and often humbling.

This picture was attached to a humorous email forwarded to me. I confess that I chuckled when I first saw it. How ridiculous to plop a tiara on an old lady like that. But then I looked closer and noticed her near-sighted gaze. She could barely see anything, especially since no one had even bothered to clean her old glasses that had been laying in a drawer.

Apparently an aide had pulled some clothes on her but didn't bother to straighten the collar. They also didn't bother to comb her sparse hair and simply stuck a bobby pin in to hold the tiara in place for the duration of the event. Most disturbing are the ridiculous eyebrows drawn on her forehead. What was the point of that?

We don't know what the occasion might have been, maybe her 100th birthday. However, I don't sense any joy or pride (or even interest) in that tiny face--only hardship and weariness. Where is the honor in all this?

Even though few of us profess to want to live to 100, there is something about the hardiness of the people who do that inspires us. Still, if by some outlandishly freaky twist of fate I should survive to 100--please don't prop me up in the Day Room with a tiara and take pictures!


Sparrow chic said...

Have no fear my mother. I would never do this to you. I would make you a birthday cake with 7 min icing and lemon filling, and if needed, feed it to you. And, I might even find a pair of flat bottom tennis shoes and do a tap dance for you !!!

Ms Sparrow said...

Thank you, my dear chickie-poo. It's no wonder I love you so much!

Bevie said...

Hopefully, this was not done in fun in spite of the woman. That would be cruel.

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

I think it was an "event," dearie, because I see the festive glint of a golden cardboard crown on the head in the background.

I agree that the woman in the picture has really not been very well cared for, and it is sad. Why is she so disheveled? I know many elderly can be combative and very hard to keep groomed. I hope it wasn't a case of neglect.

Barbara Blundell said...

Not for me either !