The Green Sweater
Living on the east coast in Rochester New York as a Home Health Aide was challenging work. I went into strange homes with new family customs that I had to learn and respect. I experienced diversity and listened to the stories of mostly older patients.
The family owned a Chinese restaurant. During the afternoon while the family was working, I took care of the matriarch. A mother who had a stroke. I did all I could to make her life as comfortable as I was trained to do. I collaborated with the nurses and physical therapist that visited once a week.
This lady was a rock on what she wanted. She would often hit me. I would let her know that was not appropriate. We would battle it out sometimes. Yet overall, I knew she liked me. I enjoyed her company too.
Her sons brought me a meal from their restaurant for lunch every day. I love Chinese food, so it was an incredibly special treat. Sweet and Sour Pork, lots of greens and noodles.
I was not use to the freezing weather and snow. Living on the west coast my whole life I found driving on black ice especially scary while driving to the home of this family who lived out in the country.
As the patient got better, she no longer needed my service. The day I left this strong woman gave me a gift. She would not take no for an answer and gave me a lovely Asian green sweater with lovely buttons. They were round and covered with a type of enamel with little designs.
I loved it and so when I traveled back home to California it was one of my prized possessions.
I ended up in Santa Cruz California. One night while I went out with my man, I had one too many Grease lightnings. The bartenders at the Poet and Patriate Pub were supplying us with many a pint. Bob and Zachery combined Amestein Lager with Guinness. We coined it “Grease lightning” because once served you had to power it down.
A big biker dude came up to my man and asked,
“Hey John why do you two power down your brews?”
John just smiled and then we walked over to play some darts.
On one of our many adventures playing darts with the local community of poets and patriots, or a few pirates, I got suckered into a conversation with an incredibly sad lady. She was cold on St Paddy’s Day and was not wearing green. I was wearing my green sweater, with green shirt and green shoes. I had plenty of green on. So, I said she could wear it a little while to warm up. The night went on and as I left to the lady’s room when I came back, she was gone and so was my lovely green sweater. I even told her my green sweater story story.
As we left that night to walk home, I heard one last song playing from the pub. One of my favorite Irish tunes. So, I danced the jig in the parking lot next to the pub. Then out of nowhere I swear a large Leprechaun danced awhile with me. We laughed and danced.
Around 1991 John and I sure did have some good nights at that local Pub in Santa Cruz. Wherever the green sweater is I hope whom ever has it is enjoying it’s beauty and warmth.