During my short, but rewarding career as a personal carer and a nurse, I had the honour of forming the most profound and deep bonds with patients in their 80s and 90s.
As you can imagine, being a nurse or a personal carer has you in a very vulnerable space with the patient - it is one of the most vulnerable spaces a person can be– reliant on the help of many they don't know very well, to help them with their daily routines of personal care with daily activities.
I cannot even fathom what one in that situation feels, except that as one allowed into those spaces of vulnerability, I treated it with the utmost sensitivity. I see it as sacred.
But in those moments where patients were at the mercy of someone, like me, who was new in that sacred space... the only approach to put them at ease was to smile and to lend my ears.
I spent 7 years in the field of elder care and all of those patients entrusted to my care, every one of them had stories of a life well-lived, but few to sit at their feet and glean from their life's wisdom.
Granted, not all wanted to pour their hearts out to a young carer like me, nor did every patient I looked after form the deep and profound bonds I mentioned before, but the ones that did... I will cherish their stories and their bonds as long as I walk this earth.