Our neighbor, Mr. D Amico, who lives about two houses down is recently widowed for about seven months now. He keeps a lovely vegetable garden and shares his harvest with everyone. With his limited English (he speaks Italian, Spanish and Portuguese), he manages to have conversations with my young adult son.
My other neighbor, Mr. C, who is also widowed, is the new playboy on the block. He frequents casinos and wears shorts every day and asks me when my pretty cousins from Oakland are going to visit. He comes to all of my BBQ’s. He leaves in the middle of our events and goes to mass. Later after mass, he returns with beverages and Guamanian food. After that he jets off to the Casino in Jackson. “He’s the most interesting man in the world.”
Last week Mr D.Amico fainted. My other neighbor ran to the door in a panic (wearing shorts, of course) and asked my son and my husband to come help M.r D. Amico off the floor. His daughter who also doesn’t speak English was hysterical. My husband began to speak Spanish to her and my Guamanian neighbors and the EMT were very impressed. My husband went on to explain it was a ischemic attack and he has seen it many times with my mom, Grace. Kudos again to hubby from the EMT who agreed with his diagnosis. I had told my husband many times that when Mom faints they call it “Vasovago Syncopy,” getting up too fast from the toilet and fainting or upsetting event caused the fainting. Just a fancy way to say, “Hey, they fainted but let’s see what caused it and get them to the ER.” He explained that to them too and they were all in awe. LOL He is the new Eldercare whisperer. He managed to keep them all in a calm, submissive state, just like Caesar Milan says, but with people in this case instead of dogs.
Wait there’s more. The Indian family across the street speaks Tamil. They call my son when they need help putting their dad in the car. I feel bad because the son was diagnosed with a brain tumor and he cares for his dad along with his mom. However, they felt comfortable enough to ask for help. So many of us don’t use our resources or get to know neighbors right on your own street. I am so glad we share our BBQ and let them borrow things. See how our caregiver network is working out?
My point is all of this, as I wrap this up and get this dog off of my foot, is that no matter what language we speak we all can speak the language of compassion, empathy, BBQ and unselfish random acts of kindness.
Have great day and “Stay positive my friends.” I don’t blog too often , but when I do it’s on Caregiving .com (dos Equis reference).
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- Tell Us: What Traits Do Successful Family Caregivers Have? (caregiving.com)
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- 10 Tips for Spousal Family Caregivers (caregiving.com)