Ollie December 1999
I joined Lynn in his act (boy it sure was an act) just before Thanksgiving. I could tell right off that he needed a lot of help. Lynn had told me about some of the experiences that he had before I joined him. One that made a big impression on him was the time he was performing and couldnít get a reaction from a man in the audience. No matter what he did, he just couldnít make him smile. Now if I had been with him it wouldnít have been a problem, but you know, some people just have to learn the hard way.
Anyway, Lynn was a bit concerned that he couldnít get this guy to smile or anything. To make a long story short (Lynn has got to learn this technique) he always makes a point to say goodbye to each person as he is leaving. When he got to this guy the first things out of this guyís mouth was, "When are you coming back?"
It suddenly occurred to Lynn that the reason this guy couldnít react was because he had a stroke and couldnít smile or control his body. He had lost the ability to move his hand, the ability to laugh or smileóeverything. The thing that he hadnít lost was the ability to hear.
Lynn suddenly realized that just because a person appeared to be not reactive on the outside didnít mean that they were not cognisant. It just meant that the "man up above" wanted to make Lynn realize that this was a living viable being. The twinkle in this man's eyes permeated his face. He was a aware of his surroundings as anyone else in the room. His only problem was the inability to communicate with the room.
The man upstairs has a way of reinforcing a point. It was only a month later when Lynn was entertaining at another retirement home. This lady came in late and had the biggest scowl on her face that you ever saw. Lynn said that no matter what he did to make her smile she just kept scowling. Lynn's first reaction was, "Look lady, no one forced you to be here. Feel free to go."
During one song he walked toward her. As she looked toward him he could see the other side of her face was in a big grin. She wasnít scowling--she was smiling. Again, a stroke had made the right side of her face incapable of a smile. While she was smiling on the inside it was the outside of her that was immobile. It again occurred to Lynn that outward appearance doesnít mean that there isnít a real person trapped in a body that doesnít co-operate.
As I look at the people who show up to see me and Lynn, I now understand how Lynn feels when someone is absent from the show. It means that they have gone on to live with their maker or they are just to ill to come to his performance. When the person does show up at a later performance it really brightens up the evening. It means that the man upstairs is still preparing the room for them Ė it isnít time for them to go on their eternal vacation.
It soon will be the year 2000. Iím willing to bet that nobody in the room had ever thought of living past the year 2000 except me. Iím not too sure of Lynn, he needs a lot of help you know. Anyway, during this new millennium year Lynn and I will be having a bit of fun entertaining. I will try to keep you updated on some things that Lynn and I experience during the year 2000. (Now if only we could get some kind of money we could really enjoy an ice cream sundae.) Oh well, I guess itís just wishing on my part. I'll do my best to help him along.
When I decided to join Lynn in December I really got him going with my purchase of ice cream. It really got the audience involved and Lynn got quite frustrated -- it was fun to really fool him into believing a story I made up to get him excited. If you're interested you can look at the dialogue we had on Ollie's Routines. All you have to do is click here ice_cream. It sure got Lynn going. You should have seen him on the phone with the credit card people that night. It really made my day.
Olliecopyright © 2002, Lynn L. Kauer
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