Mary sat in the wheel chair staring at the doctor and her daughter talking right in front of her. She was frustrated, hearing all of the talk about her. Her condition, her capabilities, her losses, half of what they said was all garbled. She knew in her heart that they were making sense; she just couldn’t decipher the order of their words.
Her frustrations mounting, she became restless and more vocal. Only thing was, she couldn’t talk. Her mind was flowing freely, she knew she was talking. “Why can’ they understand me? What was wrong with them? Oh, that’s right, it isn’t them. It’s me, they said stroke. But, don’t they see, I’m right here. I know. I just know.”
Dr. Watson leaned over and patted her hand. “Ms. Mary, we’re going to move you to a special rehab center. I know they’ll take really good care of you. I think your daughter found a place you’ll feel at home while you get better.”
Mary, stared past the doctor, “You’ve already given up on me. You’re shipping me on to someone else. You don’t believe in me.” Her thoughts were vivid, if only she could form the words. Mary wanted nothing more than to spit in his face, but trapped in the shell of her body she just sat and rode along with her daughter.
Her daughter filled the air with music, small talk and long painful silences as she drove along the highway. She didn’t want to leave her mother in a home, but she knew she couldn’t meet her needs.
They finally arrived at the rehab center. The gardens surrounded the main building were in full bloom. Mary thought about days long ago, working with her children in the garden. She saw elderly people, using walkers, canes and scooters all working in the garden. She loved the thought of touching the earth again. It brought a smile to her face. At least she thought it did.
One of the therapists met Mary at the entrance, pushed her into the main activity room. “Mary, you know where you are, don’t you? You already know the works here, but now it is time to start your lessons.”
Mary sat in the wheel chair, amazed by the works before her. Lessons she’d taught for years, being used here in a rehab center to help stroke victims, brain injured people. She sat in awe, as she watched the arthritic hands take the cubes of the pink tower and stack each cube- one by one, just as she had taught three year olds to do, ending with the smallest cube on the top.
Mary’s daughter squatted down in front of her. “Mom, I know you’ve done the brain research. When I heard of the work they do here, I knew it was right and the only place I would trust with you.”
Mary nodded, pleading with tears in her eyes, “I know I can. Don’t stop believing in me.” And she smiled.
Word count 499
Based on current brain research and the use of the Montessori Method and materials in rehabilitation of brain injuries, strokes, and work with the elderly