Originally uploaded by Lynn Park

I’ve interviewed two women for the home health-care worker position; a third, who worked for me briefly when I came home from the hospital last August, didn’t call or show up for her appointment. I started out thinking it was a done deal that I’d offer her the job.

Until, that is, I interviewed Anita yesterday. She was running late, called to let me know. I didn’t chafe or get irritable. Finally she showed up, with a retarded young woman she takes care of from mid-Friday afternoon through Saturday morning. There hadn’t been time to see me between her morning job and this one so, rather than not see me, she brought her charge along.

We had clicked on the first phone visit when I’d asked her if she had a sense of humor and then wished her the Southern benediction–“Hot dayum”–and a sense of rightness deepened when we met in person. I knew I still had two interviews to go–and nonetheless last night and today “Anita” whispered itself over and over in my ear.

The woman I interviewed today was lovely, very professional, an Afghani whose English was good but not so good that I would be able to speak quickly or casually. I’d be worn out in an hour from the effort of having to accommodate myself to her comprehension level. Talk about feeling worn down and constrained!

Anita. Anita. Anita. “I’d like to offer you the job.” She was so happy she got teary, she had prayed so hard, she would take such good care of me. Someone to take care of me.

And my heart is singing. I thought it would be so hard to find someone to replace Judith. No one can “replace” Judith: she is as idiosyncratic and dear to me as is Brenda. Truth be told, sometimes it was as difficult with Judith as it was good, though the good usually won out. But now maybe it’s time for someone to take care of me.

Note: The photograph “Open” can be found in my photostream at