For 12 years I live close to Marie. Here is a story about this strong woman. I can no longer resist and will begin to share about her.
Marie is alone in her bathroom. She does not notice me entering her new home. I tap on her shoulder and she turns around. “Oh Miriam, it is you!” She looks different and it takes a while to understand why she looks so unhappy and what she is trying to tell me.
“I lost my bottom teeth,” she says, pointing towards the sink. She just cleaned them and now she cannot find them anywhere. Marie is 93 and we just moved her into an old age home from the boat where she lived for the last 62 years.
Marie moves over from the bathroom into her room and we search together. We try to figure out what she did before she lost them. Did I mention that it is very warm in the room? That the time is 9.30 am and that my two children are there as well? How convenient.
“ I cannot eat my breakfast,” Marie is confused. She is also deaf and I have to talk really loud next to her ear to try and get the story about the teeth from her.
My children and I look everywhere and even Marie does her fair share by looking in the freezer, under the table and in the drawers of her old Singer sewing machine. She bought it in 1950 secondhand for around 30 euro and it is still going strong.
“I cannot find it, Marie. I’m sorry, but you have to tell me once more what happened. So you cleansed them and then you went to your bed? After that you pushed the mattress since you slept as if you were sleeping on an escalier. Yes I understand what that means. No not one person can sleep as if sleeping on stairs.”
Marie is born in France and when confused we talk French together. She got a special mattress with little mountains in it. It is for people that lie in bed every day to prevent that they get a sore behind and feet. She does not need that at all. And now she did not sleep as well.
My kids are great detectives and we continue to search every closet, drawer, plastic bag and even her shoes to find her teeth. After 90 minutes we have not found anything. My kids both went to the toilet and flushed it. I am not ready or willing to put my hand in there and search down there.
Now the people that bring the breakfast come and search with us. To no avail. Marie is beginning to look even more desperate. I decide to go home. In the back of my mind with the idea to go back as soon as my husband gets home.
Two hours later I get a phone call. They found the teeth. When they brought another mattress they saw it lying under the mattress in a hidden pocket of the steel underpart of the bed. I am happy for Marie. Now she can eat and relax. “I can sleep for a whole week. I am so tired of moving here”, Marie told me earlier. Bonne Nuit Marie. A demain!