Filipino Seafood Paella for Lolo and Lola

>> Thursday, 21 May 2009

I’ve been working for 7 months now as an elderly care provider. I didn’t realize I would be able to handle it when I left home for this job. I just had the courage to do it because I want to earn money for my family aside from getting an additional qualification, nothing more. I could only imagine handling fragile demented elderly clients. I only read them in books. I could probably say I am good with theory, but to hone efficient interpersonal skills need time. To care, it has to be innate. It has to be fuelled with the passion to serve.

I know that money doesn’t give you everything. But the very essence of that didn’t strike me until now.

I’m not a perfect care provider. I had my moments. You sometimes forget your dealing with people with a problem. You get tired sometimes. You get bored from the daily work routine. You have issues of your own to deal with. I don’t carry a book over my head all the time. I sometimes forget, I should care, as much as i can…always. I can be apathetic, silent and impatient. If I’m losing it, I tend to go away, for awhile. Breath and comes back again, if not. I get mad. When it happens, I feel demented. I feel like an elderly. I feel sorry. I feel worst.

Wouldn’t it be scary if you don’t know what youre doing? You don’t know where you are. You don’t know what time or day or year? You see people, with whom you’ve been living with for years, total strangers. You are helpless. You don’t have the capacity to do even the simplest daily task, like combing your hair, eating or wiping yourself after a tiddle. When you have lived a decent and good life when you were active, younger, strong, successful and independent, did you ever think that you would ask somebody to feed you when you grow old? Did you ever think you would drool unconsciously while your walking with your stick and do not notice it? Or wear a diaper perhaps because you are incontinent. Or totally forgetting everyone, your husband, daughters, sons, and just remembering your little dog when you were younger, your mom making cupcakes and your dad getting home late at night drunk? Or think that someone might steal your clothes, your money and everything you have. The feeling that somebody is stalking you or worst kill you. You wouldn’t want to close your eyes for the fear that you might not open them again. That is dementia.

Tonight I got a kiss on the hand, a tight warm hug, a pat on the back, the sweetest smile and words of gratefulness just because I did my job. I just did my job. A greater sense of satisfaction enveloped me more than any other. It is priceless.

They call me Mrs. Apple. Tomorrow, I will be a total stranger to them again.

Now, I don't know why but everytime i read or hear the word paella, i instantly associate it with elderly people.

The look of this dish somehow intimidates me. There's so much in it. The method of cooking seems to be quite tedious. I thought, it's like either you make it or break it. But I thought, I will try my best and dedicate this to lolos and lolas (grandpa&grandma) at "home". I love them.


MaMely 22 May 2009 at 20:29  

Are you sure you're not a food stylist? all your photos look sooo professionally done. I bet they taste super as well!

Confession Nook 23 May 2009 at 10:05  

wee...thanks mamely! i take around 50-80 shots on various angles..and i only get a couple of the nicest shots to post..hehehe..=) end-result-i eat room temperature food after pictorial or re-heat ko ulit..=)

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