Joyce 馃悵 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

5 years ago 路 2 min. reading time 路 ~10 路

Joyce 馃悵 blog
There was an Old Woman Named Sarah

There was an Old Woman Named Sarah


Succorstsl Personal Branding

Joyce § Bowen
Sut ent Amis Babee Ary Soc atward

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聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 I remember Sarah.聽

She was my best friend鈥檚 mother. At 84, and residing in assisted living, she was a bright spot in my life. My friend offered to pay me for my interactions with her, but I declined. My favorite activity with her was to traipse around town鈥攈er in a wheelchair鈥攇etting lost amongst the back streets. When she resided in Salem, we trekked the streets there.

Joyce Bowen

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Our goal for each travel in Salem was ice cream. Chocolate ice cream had been forbidden by staff in the home because they felt it contributed to her incontinence. They were probably right鈥攖hey were in the know鈥攂ut I saw in front of me an old woman being stripped of the elements of living, piece by piece, and railed against it. She had already been denied her nightly Manhattan. Chocolate ice cream was not, in my view, going to meet a similar demise.





Why bury the dead when they鈥檙e alive?



My arms were strong and my gait steady. Sarah was a minute woman, but the wheelchair was old and unwieldy. Still鈥擨 pushed and struggled to hide my huffs and puffs. I wanted Sarah to feel special and unburden-some. We found ice cream parlors and reveled in our favorite flavor鈥攏uts and sprinkles included.

One day, the skies were threatening. I took her on our sojourn anyway. I had passed an ice cream parlor in my travels and sought to wheel Sarah there. We made it, got our ice cream, reveled in the flavor, and poof, the skies opened up with a deluge of rain. I mean鈥攊t was not raindrops; it was streams of water.


Ice cream was one thing, but I was not willing to subject the old woman to probable pneumonia. The service provider handed me a many gallon trash-bag, and we set out. Sarah tolerated her trash-bag raincoat like a trooper. I had ripped a hole for her face and draped it over her and the wheelchair. We set out in the soaking rain.


Picture it鈥攁 tiny face topped out by a peak in a huge, dark-green coverlet鈥攂eing wheeled along by a being鈥攄iminutive herself鈥攈air streaming down her face in tune to the rain鈥攕miling as if (and it could be) there was no tomorrow.

I made my way through the streets with my green bag鈥攁rriving at the back entrance to the facility鈥攁nd it was a few moments before staff realized it was me with Sarah and not a bag lady seeking to rummage through their trash. One came to ward me off until she realized there was a lady in the bag.

Sarah beamed that day. She had so little chance for adventure, and I had given her one.



Sarah鈥檚 gone now鈥攂ut I will always remember that beaming face poking out from a hole torn in a trash bag.




Copyright 2017 Joyce Bowen









I certainly hope so. She was a joy.
I sometimes wonder who really had the adventure!

Kevin Pashuk

5 years ago #20

Great story Joyce. I hope there's someone to wheel me around in a trash bag when I'm old. I can bet that Sarah was delighted for the joy you brought her that day.
Thank you for the shares, Lisa Vanderburg
Thank you, Lisa Vanderburg
#8 #9 #10 etc. Such a great discussion, CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit.
I will always remember that smile on her face. The image made in chocolate accompanying this post reminds me of her. Thank you, Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador.
Thank you Jerry Fletcher
Get that ice cream, Paul \?
Thank you, Pascal Derrien
Thank you, Barbara Henslee.
Thank you, Shelley Brown. High praise coming from a writer I admire greatly. Note I misspelled unburdensome purposely. That damned creative license bug bit me.

Ali Anani

5 years ago #10

You bring to my mind a huge issue- are managers managing fears and greed or are they managing steps into the future. Your comments resonate so much with me and I find my buzz of today almost addressing similar issues. Yes, I totally agree with you that it is the culmination of small steps that eventually will cause the pile of sand to fall or the volcano inside us to erupt. Simple rules, simple steps that feedback to each other will reach criticality over time and the disruption and new emergence begins. I wish one day that we would meet in person and have a discussion (lengthy one) with you dear CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit. I hope these exchanges of comments are the small steps towards our meeting so that, at least my mind, would erupt.

CityVP Manjit

5 years ago #9

It is actually a smaller force from which a new spirit emerges and that is the countless minor flashes of awareness that over time build up critical mass or a tipping point. As the old order passes naturally out of history, a new order begins to replace what is the old voice. We can be 90 years old and still have a new voice. It is prejudicial thinking about age that stops society today about thinking that way - this prejudicial voice are working as Vice Presidents and Directors in major companies, and these professionals here their leaders lay down a fear that they need a a younger workforce to protect themselves from lost human resource (retiring). Instead of dealing with the cause (retirement) these people deal with the symptoms (fear).

Ali Anani

5 years ago #8

Dear CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit- I am celebrating the wisdom and spirit of your age. Is shaking up enough my friend? Sometimes I feel we need a bigger force to change our mentality so that new spirits might emerge. BTW- I would love your feedback on my buzz of today discussing Spontaneous Leaders

CityVP Manjit

5 years ago #7

Dear Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee as a society we are not engaged in the celebration of life but still the disposal of body assets, so while we celebrate people like Peter Drucker and Coach Wooden working into their 90's, we continue to promote that horrid 21st Century coinage called "HUMAN RESOURCES" - we need to shake ourselves out of that mentality and see life as an end-to-end value. People today live in the fear of losing youth rather than celebrate elder spirit.

Lisa Vanderburg

5 years ago #6

You have perfectly displayed the truth that loving unconditionally creates the very best memories Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee notes. Your understanding, 'Why bury the dead when they鈥檙e alive' is the kicker; I think we should all find one elder and escape with them now and then - they have such joy and delight!

Ali Anani

5 years ago #5

Heart-touching post Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee. Sadly., as some people get deprived of many things in life how then the unallowables become so meaningful to them.

CityVP Manjit

5 years ago #4

I have shuddered at times when I visited the so called old people home and seeing an endless sea of elderly ladies in wheelchairs, all parked in a visiting room without any visitors. There is a cruel aspect of neglect I witnessed. For some it is a necessity to make arrangements in places of special care - but that is not something I always see has care if human beings are housed as surplus requirements to the human resource mindset, a mindset that continues to haunt our world, if that is we are prepared to see the ghost in the machine.
Beautiful memories sparked a beautiful story, Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

Jerry Fletcher

5 years ago #2

Beautiful story Joyce. In life there are memories that stay with us forever. Thanks for sharing one of yours.

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #1

A touching tribute to somebody who was important to you !!! I love the plastic bag story so simple and so eloquently powerful :-)

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