Caregiving Story

Theodore (Ted) Wright, In Memory Of

Age:72
Location:Indianapolis, IN
Cared for by:Renee Lynch
Years of Care:20

 

I would like to write a book about this gentleman and his journey, but even sharing with anyone who is willing to listen to me and about our journey, will never forget the impact he made on my life! Ted was fine until the age of two. He was a healthy baby boy! Medically, the stories have been passed on by caregivers and it was unknown exactly how he contracted his paralysis. Unfortunately the medical knowledge and advances we have now were not readily available to aggressively treat his condition at that time. Don't let him fool you! He was only disabled by his body! His mental and emotional being was totally intact! I met Ted when I was working for a retirement community. I was taking care of their Alzheimer's Disease residents until they got their in-house facility done. He would greet everyone at the front door with his big smile and beg for you to stop and say hello. In the warm weather, he would greet you outside, sun bathing in his customized wheelchair and showing off those white 'chicken' legs that would not support him to stand up and give you a big hug! (He loved hugs!) A few years later, I was looking for another private resident and was introduced to Ted personally! I remembered him from coming and going in my work there before and although I had stopped and chatted, honestly, I did not know then who he really was. Our journey started off a little frustrating because his method of communication was a sole finger motioning yes and a pursing of the lips to signal no. The sounds coming from his vocals made little to no sense until I had spent more time with him. His huge smile and patience made it impossible for me to give up on trying to figure him out. Ted was on a strict routine. And, believe me, he let you know if something wasn't right or to his liking! Ted and I learned to communicate physically, mentally, and emotionally as time passed. I learned his likes and dislikes and also a few of my own! We went on walks, concerts (he loved music), out to eat(he loved food), swimming (funny story all by itself), drives, talked, etc., etc. Ted was only disabled by his body. We never met a stranger that he did not touch, good, or bad... The bad being people that saw him coming and due to their ignorance of his condition, passed him by (they were few and far between because of his smile). Together, we educated people everywhere we went. I often caught myself, but not stopping, for people he met to ask him how he was and what he wanted. If you took the time, he would eventually communicate exactly what that was! He was an inspiration to all and especially to me. He fed his brain daily with books on tape, having others read to him and watching the world around him. He watched informational programs and listened to an array of music (jazz being a favorite). I feel selfish in wishing that he was still here, but I miss him dearly! I guess I want to share his story because although physically disabled, he was mentally and emotionally 110% if you would only take the time and get to know him. I always said if I had one wish in life, it would be that he had a single day to walk and talk. He would have never sat down, and never shut-up! Most of us have been blessed with all and whatever your abilities, do not be ignorant of what the books cover. It might just be something you really want or should read! I am a stronger, smarter and better person for getting to share in his journey! RIP Ted!

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