March 30, 2005 My journal reads:
Mr. Penny- An old man with dark skin and dark hair that is highlighted by his silvery age. A former government employee, he spends his day getting drunk, talking to people as they pass by. He doesn't like Joe http://aesopsfables.blogspot.com/2005_03_01_aesopsfables_archive.html and let him and everyone else know it. Joe thinks he's joking. He stopped James and me yesterday to announce that we were going to be living across the hall from him. He demanded that there would be no loud music, no drinking and no partying. I said, " Why is it ok for you to drink, but not ok for us?" Naturally, he was to busy making jokes to answer the question.
From what I gather, he used to walk a lot. His small, frail body reflects that. It seems he had a stroke in his sleep one night and lost most of his functions of his dominant hand. His spirits are high (although I am told they aren't always).
June 29, 2005 My journal reads:
Mr. Penny- A man that reminds me of home. He represents kindness and family and truth. He's the kind of person you don't mind listening to, even when you are running late. He has great stories to tell, he's always good for a laugh, although, I don't see him smile much.
He's going down hill pretty quickly. He'd never admit it though. He appreciates being thought of and checked in on but refuses any "help." He won't hesitate to ask for a soda when his meds are making his mouth dry.
He sits in his cluttered apartment of 16 years, listening to the radio. He never goes into his bedroom. He has lived in the building since it was built. He knows stories no one else knows, like, why there is a huge dip in my living room floor.
I want to move so badly because of the consistent knocking on our door. Now, I don't want to because I know I have a neighbor, a friend, and a grandpa type figure to look after me right across the hall. The day I changed my mind about moving was when he told us, "I was just telling my wife (separated), I don't want to get to know you folks." He doesn't want to see us go.
November 13, 2005:
To sit with a man who knows he is dying changes the way you look at things. I remember the first day I realized he was dying. I came home and took a shower to hide my tears. I felt so sad.
Now, I just try and spend as much time with him as I can. Every time I go see him, I know I am going to have to be in there for at least an hour and it's going to be 90 degrees. But for me it's worth it if I have the time. I want to spend as much time with him as I can while he is here with us.
If I met him today and started writing about him, he would be a completely different person to me. He ALWAYS needs help. Harrison had to go pick him up off the floor again yesterday. We took him a walker, and some other medical supplies that make it easier to bath and go to the bathroom. I guess none of those things can help you much when your body is deteriorating.
I am so grateful and thankful that we have endured all that we have here(at the apartments) just for the chance to be apart of Mr. Penny's life.