His Oldest Friend: The Story of an Unlikely Bond

His Oldest Friend: The Story of an Unlikely Bond

by Sonny Kleinfield

ISBN: 9780805080605

Publisher Times Books

Published in Biographies & Memoirs/Regional U.S., Self-Help/Relationships, Health, Fitness & Dieting/Personal Health, Biographies & Memoirs/General, Nonfiction/Social Sciences, Parenting & Families/Aging Parents

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Sample Chapter

Every now and then I say, ‘Why am I here?’” Ms. Oliver was saying to Elvis. “My answer is this is the way of life and nature made it this way. So you deal with it as much as possible by distracting yourself.”
Elvis piped up: “Miss Oliver, think of it as you’re having a little vacation from everything you’ve done before.”
“Oh, Elvis,” she said. “You’re like a breath of spring.”
He had to smile. Seeing her so much, he
understood her alternative universe. “Reaching old age is loneliness, depression,” is how he would explain it. “You don’t feel you’re part of the world anymore. You’re in the way. You’re a pest. You have to depend on someone. That disturbs Miss Oliver. My goal is to make her still feel part of the world.”
In short order, he came to think of her as his oldest friend. He actually once told her straight out: “If I had never met you, I’d probably be dead or in jail. I grew up around drug dealers all my life. I wouldn’t have any choice but to stand on the corner, too.”
And so, in perhaps the most important hours of his week, he lost himself in the twisting labyrinth of this nursing home, and in particular, in room 470, becoming true
intimates with a wise old woman named Margaret Oliver who never thought of herself as a savior.

Excerpted from "His Oldest Friend: The Story of an Unlikely Bond" by Sonny Kleinfield. Copyright © 2006 by Sonny Kleinfield. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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