13 January

Zinnia Meets Jean’s Baby In Memory Care

by Jon Katz

I took Zinnia to the Mansion’s Memory Care unit, I try to go twice a week with Fate or Zinnia. We visit Billy, who loves dogs, and Jean, who is always with the baby doll I gave her two years ago, before she moved to Memory Care.

Jean takes the doll everywhere she goes. I learned recently that she lost a baby of her own in the other life. I put Zinnia up on the couch next to her and Jean patted Zinnia for a long time and then brought the baby doll over to her so the two would meet.

I was concerned that Zinnia would find the baby doll an irresistible thing to chew on, but I underestimated her. She sniffed the doll, licked and sat still while Jean patted her with her right and held the doll in the other.

Jean spoke to me the whole time I was visiting, but her words were not comprehensible to me anymore, I can just nod and listen. She is always happy when she is patting a dog, she loved to sit with Red also.

Jean and I can no longer talk to each other the way we used to, but we do communicate, I understand much of what she is trying to tell me, and she seems to get from me what she needs – a listener.

Zinnia did a beautiful job with Jean today. It was powerful to see these two objects of Jean’s attention and affection  – a dog and a baby doll, she took great pleasure in holding both of them at the same time.

I brought two pairs of pajamas to one of the Memory Care residents today, she had no nightclothes. I’ve ordered two pairs of jeans for a man at the Mansion who has outgrown the only pair of sweatpants that he had.

I ordered a box of coffee creamers for the new Mansion aides Break Room.

If you wish to support my work at the Mansion, you can do so via Paypal, jon@bedlamfarm.com or by check, Jon Katz, Mansion/Refugee Fund, P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.

I do what I can with the money I have and thanks. My work is documented in photographs and posts.

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