Bitsy is a homecare client that I had a few months back, who holds two special honors:
1. She is the MOST positive, optimistic person I have ever met.
2. She's the one that kindled my newfound love of football.
Bitsy is in her late seventies, but looks a little older than that because she has Parkinson's which causes her a lot of stiffness and difficulty walking or moving. She also has a few little spasms and tics, which, this being Bitsy we're talking about, are completely adorable; a prissy little head shake, ramrod posture, and a tiptoed gait.
Bitsy was living with one of her daughters when I began taking care of her, and her boundless bright-sideyness is even more striking considering that before she came to live with her daughter, she spent a few months in an adult family home where she was neglected. That neglect came at a time when Bitsy was recovering from a broken knee, and nearly permanently cost her the ability to walk. If you're curious about adult family homes or what's being done to rectify that type of situation, there's a great series called Seniors for Sale that covers the main points. And if you're thinking "no way in hell am I clicking on something that depressing" then that's just fine too. No judgement here; it really is sad.
By the time I got to know Bitsy she was regaining her ability to walk using a walker as long as someone was there to hold onto her gait belt just to be safe. She said the first time she was able to walk outside after moving in with her daughter, she was so happy she cried with joy. Bitsy is so funny and adorable, I think the best way to describe her is by sharing some of her quotes:
"That lemon-lime sports drink is delicious, but it's so rich! I'm as full as can be!"
"We went to Kmart the other day to find some cute pants for these long legs of mine, and did you know they had a wheelchair there for just anyone to use? It was the best thing! I was getting too tired with my walker but they let me use that wheelchair, and I got to see all the clothes there. Kathy Ireland has clothes there! And it's air conditioned! And it's so big, and so organized. It's really just beautiful. And we stayed so long with that wheelchair of theirs, it really felt like I was on a vacation!"
After watching a Christian stand-up comedienne DVD, Bitsy laughed and clapped at how "She talks about regular everyday things like going to the grocery store but she makes it SO FUNNY!"
Bitsy regularly marveled over the deliciousness of jello, how delightful it is to watch baseball games on television, how well the "little fellow over at the church" rings the bells every Sunday, and how funny the nurse that helped deliver her youngest child was all those years ago.
Looking at things the way Bitsy does is pretty great. And if you want to feel like you're right there with her, here's a clip of one of her favorite groups singing one of her favorite songs. Watch it and imagine a prim, idiosyncratic lady with giant knitting needles sitting next to you and singing along.
The Cathedrals "Movin' up to Gloryland" on YouTube