What Will I Leave Behind?

Or should I say “when”
I move to the new care home,
What will I leave behind?

I’ve been pondering my legacy should I leave for the prospective new care home in less than two weeks. I’ve been thinking of gifting every staff member and a few of the residents who I’m close to and who will remember, something out of my collection of handcrafted sculptures and jewelry. The polymer clay dolphin will go to the one resident in my home I can talk with, because he always carries a stuffed dolphin with him. He may or may not fully understand what it means that I’ll leave (since I’m not sure he’s ever witnessed a fellow client move out), and in any case it’ll likely make him sad. I’ve already decided to appease him with French fries the weekend before the planned moving date. This man has his 50th birthday next year, and I’ve already told several staff I’m going to come back to celebrate it with him.

One of my regular one-on-one staff is getting a matching blue bracelet and necklace that she’s told me countless times would complete a great beach outfit. I had thought of giving it to her for her 50th birthday last March, but decided against that eventually.

Then, besides the physical gifts I’ll leave behind, there’s of course the memories. I wonder sometimes whether some clients will secretly be glad that I’ll have left, as my challenging behavior could come across quite threatening to them. I wonder whether the staff will be happy I’m gone, as then they can house a client with severe/profound intellectual disability here. Then again, we still have another empty room now too.

In all honesty, I have no idea what people will think of me if I do move. Is out of sight, actually out of mind? With my psych hospital staff, it pretty much was, as they didn’t even say goodbye when I was discharged. Then again, this staff, particularly those I’ve known from the beginning, are different. At least I hope so.

This post was written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge. It is a one-word prompt this week: “legacy”.

20 thoughts on “What Will I Leave Behind?

  1. What a powerful legacy!

    I hope the polymer dolphin and the stuffed dolphin will be friends. [or at least share a companionate silence]

    For me – out of sight is often IN mind.

    Fiftieth birthdays are really important – we have come to the 1970s [1972] – [LaRose had hers in May of course].

    [and 1973 for your fellow client the dolphin lover].

    And I am glad you took in the uncertainty when it comes to “witnessing fellow clients move out”.

    Beach outfits are awesome! [and what a perfect gift to give something that she had been wanting for a long time].

    Appease – comfort or soothe in this context?

    [I think at least two of your psych staff did and do remember you from 10 years ago and a few blogs ago].

    Also – how is September Joy going – or is that next week?

    Another legacy from the staff point of view is a stretching and extending of their abilities to deal with challenging clients.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your extensive comment. Yes, it’s true, my staff will likely have learned quite a few lessons about dealing with challenging behavior and more intellectually capable clients. And it’s also true that some staff will probably remember me for a while after I move, as I at least am still remembered by my support coordinator and day activities staff from when I lived with my husband three years ago.


      1. That last bit of *your* comment is so beautiful.

        Yes – those day activities staff had been very involved with you. [and with many of the other clients too – all with their own individual and group memories].

        And I notice a few people have reblogged this post since I last came up.

        Hopefully those lessons are transferable – someone could be intellectually capable in at least one area.

        [it could be a promotion or a lateral move on the part of the staff concerned…]

        If at least one person remembers you the way you want to be remembered and the way they want to remember you – that too is a powerful legacy.

        I have just found out that author Hilary Mantel died while I was reading ROLLING STONE.

        For me – appeasement is something someone with more power does for/to someone with less power. Or the less-powerful person [like Neville Chamberlain] does it with a more powerful person [Adolf Hitler].

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, I didn’t mean to use the word “appease” with any connotation of a power difference between me and the other client, although I now realize it does sound (and I cannot say this wasn’t intended) somewhat condescending. As for my staff from when I lived with my husband, they still send me Christmas cards and I will let them know if I move should they want to continue this. If they see this as an opportunity to discontinue the habit, that’s okay by me too.


  2. That is so nice of you to leave gifts to people. And, you are so talented. A little token or gesture can go a long way for others. I am sure you will leave people with fond memories, at least the other patients. And, if you were challenging to the staff, it shouldn’t matter. They have jobs to do. I’ll bet they (some of them) have the same concerns as you, when they move on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words. I really do hope my fellow residents will have happy memories of me. Most in my own home can’t speak, so it’s hard to know how much they will realize I’ve moved on.


  3. That is so kind to leave some of the residents and staff members gifts.
    My eldest works in a care home and has seen quite a few residents leave over the year she’s worked there and remembers them all fondly. I am sure people will remember you too. x

    Liked by 1 person

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