Changing A Lightbulb

Ever since the day I moved into the place I’m currently living at now, I’ve been meaning to change the lightbulb in my room because it was much too dim for my liking. Days would turn to months, and I just never got around to doing it. Finally, after an entire year, my lightbulb died out on me. I mean it would flicker still, kind of like something you’d see from a horror film.. But clearlyyy, that wouldn’t cut it.

After spending some time on Google researching how many watts and lumens would give me the brightest light possible for my ceiling fan (dad, where are ya when I need ya), I headed on over to my favorite place ever, Target (did you know they’re headquartered in Minnesota??) to pick it up.

Once I got home, I unboxed the lightbulb and as I went to replace it, an old memory happened to pop up in my head & instantly brought a smile to my face.

I thought of William*.

William* was a patient of mine when I worked as a home health aide. He was in his 90’s and still sharp as a tack.

I thought of William* because he was the one to teach me how to change my first lightbulb.

“Cindy, could you change that lightbulb for me? Extra lightbulbs are on top of the dryer,” he says.

I must’ve resembled a deer in headlights because he looked at me with a confused expression.

“What? You’ve never changed a lightbulb before?” he asks me jokingly.

[Yes, I was 20 years old and never changed a lightbulb in my life. I guess you could say I was spoiled because it never crossed my mind about changing a single lightbulb since my dad would always do it.]

Haha um, nope, never.

He laughs and says it’s quite simple. As I went to switch off the light in fear of getting electrocuted, he reassures me that there’s no way I could get electrocuted. I remember this part so vividly because I remember thinking: I swearrrr, if I get electrocuted for changing a lightbulb…

What do ya know, William* was right, I didn’t get electrocuted! We laughed about how terrified I was to change the lightbulb a number of times after the instance.

You know it’s funny when I think about it. How I was hired to be there to help him, but in the end, I believe that he ended up helping me just as much.

He taught me so much through sharing his life experiences, his kind words, and wisdom.

My heart broke when I saw the look on his face as I was sharing the news of me moving to California. He knew I’ve been dreaming of this moment forever.

He was genuinely happy for me but his eyes were so sad.

There’s really no easy way of saying goodbye to someone you know you’d never see again.

As I walked out the door, he told me not to be a stranger, to send a letter from California. I smiled, and waved him goodbye for the last time.

I really wish I could’ve sent him that letter from California to check up on him & to let him know everything was going well. However with HIPAA & such, we weren’t allowed to remain in contact with patients once we no longer worked there.

For a while it was unsettling because I kept hoping he wasn’t waiting for a letter from me and thinking that maybe I didn’t care enough to write him.

Every now and again something as simple as changing a lightbulb will remind me of William*. And it just reminds me to cherish the little moments we had together even more.


*name changed


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