Another Letter To My Friend

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A letter that I will never send, to one of my first residents, and always my favorite. Other letters to her are here and here.

Hi Dot,

I hope that all is well in North Carolina. I hope that you will remember me when I come to visit you, and that I get there in time. Sometimes I check the obituaries and brace myself with the fear that I may find your name. I have yet to see your name, so I know that you are still alive.

I wish I could call you, but I am confident it would confuse you more, and so I do not call. I feel guilty that I live so far away from you now. The last time I came to see you, you did recognize me. It was wonderful. Your eyes lit up and you introduced me to all your new friends as “my old friend.” You told everyone that we “worked together,” which, in a way, is true.

I’ve connected with other residents since meeting you, but it’s never been the same. You’ll always be my favorite resident. I don’t know if it’s partially because you were at my first community, or if it’s because you were always so kind and loved doing any and all activities.

I think about you often, and I hope that you still believe that your husband is alive. I hope that no one has tried to talk you out of that. No matter what your brain believes now, I hope that it makes you happy.

Hope to see you again someday,

Rachael

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of three published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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