Yesterday was Anzac Day and I remembered a lovely client of mine who fought in the war. I work with elderly people, helping them with day to day activities, and in my 3 or so years of doing this job, I have met some very special people. These people have enriched my life and I am sure, by the way they thank me, I've enriched theirs. In my time working with all these lovely folk, I have been spoilt with all sorts of different gifts, which for me, is very lovely, as it helps me to remember these people every time I use or see the gift they have given me. I'm going to share with you, some of the generous gifts I have been given, as a thankyou from my clients, and for me, I will always remember them in my day to day life! Some of the gifts were things they bought for me and some hand me downs that they knew I would love!
My client who was a soldier, was very generous. He gave me plates, that were his and his wifes, when they first got married in England, 73 years ago. They were in their mid 90's when I worked with them. I spent alot of time with this couple, sharing in stories and drinking tea, as well as cleaning their house for them. When his lovely wife passed away, I was very glad that I could still work with him, helping him get through each day. My fondest memories of him was talking about british tv shows and real comforting food that he missed from growing up and that I was fortunately familiar with, like bread and butter pudding, real butter, suet puddings, and steak and kidney pies! Whenever I use these gifts from him, I always think of him and his wife, and I am truly greatful!
Another client of mine, 92 years old, spent most of her spare time tyding the house, so that as soon as I got there, we would have more than enough time for tea and her favourite, madeira cake, with butter! I loved visiting her as I knew we would get chatting about her life back in England, her husband and what she loves to cook! She was very generous and never forgot a card and chocolates when my birthday, christmas or wedding anniversary came around! Again, I am truly greatful I met her and will look after the gifts she has given me, because, I never want to forget her! She gave me a english tea dress,from her years living in England, she said she never wanted to part with, but knew I would look after it! And as she knew I loved colour in my house, an old vase, that she thought I'd love, and I do!
Two years ago, I got married to my best friend. My clients were so happy and excited for me and some really wanted to give me a gift or help out in some way. And I am so glad they did! One of my lovely clients, who I will never forget, went beyond what she needed to do. Not that she needed to do anything, but she was amazing. She gave me 4 white icing flowers from her wedding cake to put on mine as well as making platters of delicious sandwiches for my wedding! None of this I asked for, but I will never forget her, as I look at wedding photos and see her love and care for me!
Another lovely lady I worked with, who was 96, shared her wedding story with me when I told her I was getting married. This captured me as it sounded beauitful, but also despite her age, she remembered everything from that day of hers! She was a very beautiful person, full of praise and encouragement for me, always saying God Bless in the most sincere way when I left her house each week. One week I arrived and she slowly walked to her room to get a gift for me to use on my special day. A beautiful hankie, which did come in use, but one that I will not throw out even if it has been used alot! I want to remember her words to me and the love she gave me.
One of the many topics of conversation that come up with my lovely clients is food and cooking! They know i'm quite a fan and its always lovely to share food together! I met a lovely lady once, who I unfortunatly only worked with for 2 weeks, but in that time she shared with me her favourite and always a winner biscuit recipes as it was christmas time and she was busy baking some for her neighbours in the retirement village. I wrote these down, and love that when I make or eat them, I will always remember her.
Another client of mine, who has not only shared recipes with me, very often shares produce from her garden. Ive walked away week after week with rhubarb, figs, fennel and many different herbs! I love that she wants to share her hard work with me! She is very much into being self sustainable and loves that I make gifts and things for my home rather than buying. Here are two recipes she shared with me, that ive tried and that are really delicious! She also gave me the cutest sewing room accessory to use for my crafting times! She knows me well, and I love that!
Today I worked with a lovely couple, one is in mid 70's, the other 98! As soon as i step foot into their home, its full of laughter and generosity! I dont think there has been an easter without a chocolate egg, or a christmas without a box of shortbread waiting for me on the kitchen table! The conversation i have with them always leaves me full of energy and happy. Its often about grandchildren of theirs, their life in Holland, or looking at the fashion pages in magazines and choosing what we would wear and who's popping out of their dress to much! These two know me very well and it makes me feel very special. I arrived one week to a stick blender waiting for me, one they bought years ago, but wanted to offer to me first before family as they knew I would really appreciate and use it! I do, all the time!! And a pile of wool was waiting for me today, which made me smile as I like to use recycled craft supplies instead of brand new!
I'm seeing a lovely lady tomorrow, she is 92. You wouldn't pick it. The topic of conversation usually revolves around her beloved collingwood magpies, her favourite biscuits from Holland, her daughters dog, her neighbour or the weather! She likes to keep herself busy and enjoyes her cups of tea I make a few times i'm there, in 2 hours! Her daughter visits often, and I remember a day arriving at her home, to have a little gift waiting for me! She and her daughter, had made me a tea towel, they took turns with the hand sewing as they both get tired easily from it. I wasn't expecting it, and just love it, and to say that someone made it for me is so warming! Everytime its used, I think of her smile and biscuits!
I think I must talk alot, as one of my lovely clients, suprises me with gifts that she said she knew I would like, but I dont remember telling her, but i have! Maybe I vacuum talk or dust talk, you know, like sleep talking! Anyway, she is a lovely soul, we often stand on her balcony, looking at the amazing view of the dandenong ranges and talk about flowers. She is quiet, so not too much conversation goes on which is why I get suprised with the gifts. But to know, that she has listened or remembered something Ive said has only made me feel on top of the world. She's given me a oven mit, which is knows is for a long term craft project I have planned, a basket she knew I was looking for, for my bike and a cute bambi ornament to keep in my sewing room to think of her, and I do! I can't forget her.
Tomorrow afternoon, I'm going to a clients home that is like no other. I feel so appreciated. The lovely lady who lives there, is so full of praise and love for me and what I do and does so much so that I dont have to work hard, even though I'm happy and prepared to! My days with her are often spent talking about family and watching Dr. Phil episodes that she tapes as she feels they are stories I will appreciate! I do, I appreciate the effort and thought!! She is someone who I think of all the time, and I am so glad. She is someone everyone needs in their life. She tells me that she often prays to my Narmy (grandma) who has passed away, to tell her what a good job i'm doing! I almost cry everytime I work there! My days with her end with the two of us walking in her still and beautiful garden, picking lemons and roses for me to take home. She has generously given me tea cups from her lifetime collection and constume jewellery from her nursing days as a 20 year old in New York. She is 85.
I would like to finish by saying, whether it been gifts like these above, cakes, tea, flowers or second hand magazines and the daily paper or conversation that has made me appreciate people and life on a whole new level, and for times that have taken me back to my childhood, thankyou to all my clients.
To the ones I still work with, the ones who have moved to nursing homes or moved away and to the clients who have unfortunatly passed away, I will never forget you.