Saturday, August 16, 2008

moving again

I loved 'my family' at Mrs B's house. There was harmony in the lower levels and wonderful appreciation from the upper one. But word reached me through the grapevine that there was a job available that would fit my future better. So on my day off I traveled to Long Island That was an endless trek and I hardly remember how I got there. I know I began from Princeton Junction,and then it was train and subway and even a bus. When I got to the house I was aiming for I was hired in the first five minutes.

My days as kitchen maid were over. I became in those minutes a practical nurse.

The lady of the house had a sister who was crippled by 'thinning of the bones' We now call it 'osteoporosis'. There were fractures in her vertebrae. She could not walk. My job would be to bring her breakfast from the kitchen. I would dress her and help her in the bathroom and take her to a lovely space in the garden where she could have her lunch or listen to me read with my Swedish accent or she could take a nap. I would be her ladie's maid or her constant shadow. My pay would now be more than doubled.

Their chauffeur picked me up in Princeton. The new household consisted of Mr.and Mrs W, the sister Mrs.T and the usual number of servants. This time there was a butler. It was a pleasant job for me and Mrs T and I got along very well. I was totally out of touch with the servants, since I ate with Mrs T and spent 99% of my time with her. When she slept there was washing and other chores. The chaimber maid changed her bed and cleaned her room. This lasted for nearly a year. Mrs T died in her sleep. It was autumn. The days were gray and our feelings were gray. I had grown to love Mrs T. The MD finally told all of us that it was a stroke that killed her. At least she did not have additional pain.

A few days later Mrs W told me that her sister had asked her to give me $2.000 and her knitting needles when she died. I shed a tear of gratitude for now I had enough money to really think about my future. And I still have some of the knitting needles.

9 comments:

BumbleVee said...

sounds like it was a lovely year and I am sure dear Mrs. T. appreciated you very much....a year well spent.....

Pam said...

"To show our appreciation'" is a wonderful term in Life.We all need to hear it and also say it as often as we can.Another wonderful post dear Grandma Svensto and a happy conclusion to another part of your journey. I look forward to the next post.It is so much fun you being part of the blogging community!

Emily said...

Yet another beautiful story I've never heard! keep it going Grandma. I love it.

Love, Emily

Rosy in MV said...

I like to think of you and
Mrs. T spending time in that lovely space in the garden; did you dream of your future there?

Cedar ... said...

I feel like I am sitting here sharing coffee or tea and just chatting with you as you tell your life's story,... I look forward to each day with you!

Haphazardkat said...

A peaceful interlude with a sad ending.
I'm glad she had you to share her last year with :)

kiki said...

Oh, this post was very touching...

my dad had a stroke 13 years ago...another one 2 years ago and he got back from a bowel surgery about 30 days ago...i know what taking care of a "cripple" is like, and i'm glad we somehow "share" that.

i shed a tear myself at the end of the post.

love,
kiki

scargosun said...

I know Mrs. T appriciated you and reading your blog I can see why.

hello haha narf said...

something about the fact that she had such an impact on your life that you still have the needles after all this time gave me chills. in the good way. reminds me that everyone we encounter we make an impact on. reminds me to be generous to those that make our lives easier.

great story.