27 Apr 2014


Names have been changed for confidentiality reasons

I have a part-time job in a nursing home. I work alternately as a housekeeper and supper chef on Saturdays and Sundays. This August will mark the second year I've been working there, and I really do thoroughly enjoy my job.

You're probably thinking "why is she talking about her dumb job on here?" but bear with me. I have a point.

In room 12 we had a resident called Victor. He was 99, although due to how sprightly and 'with it' he was I could never quite believe that. He had scruffy gray hair and wore a lot of beige. He reminded me of my uncle with his laid back, nonchalant attitude. He wouldn't care if I made his coffee wrong, he'd drink it anyway. All in all he was a wonderful, humble old man with a big heart.

On occasion, when I was in the adjacent room 11 cleaning, I would hear him sing 'you are my sunshine' to himself. It was - for lack of better words - adorable; and to this day I have difficulty even thinking of the tune without being haunted in some way.

On Christmas day in 2013, Victor passed away suddenly at about 11am - two hours before my shift started that day. When I was told the news I was heartbroken. We all were. As someone who's main job is to cater for dying people, we aren't usually so affected by death, but for Victor we all grieved. He made a mark on me that will probably remain for a lifetime.

And while I was at work today preparing the suppers, a dark thought came to my mind. What if I don't make my mark like Victor did? What if I'm not the kind of person that leaves such a presence behind? Sure, I've worked hard to get where I am. I'm a decent artist (though still learning) and I've established myself a good reputation online. I've met with my favourite games developer, and I still have a long stretch (hopefully) of life ahead of me to achieve even more.

But I never knew about Victor's achievements. All I knew was that he was 99, he had a little wife from some eastern European country and that he liked beige. It was just the way he was that made such an impact on me. He had a specific way of being. Of viewing the world.

Mortality seems irrelevant when one considers how people live on even through death. Look at Marilyn Monroe; she died long before any of us were even born and yet we know exactly who she is, what she did and why she was just so charming. Maybe in the future we'll hear about Justin Beiber and Kristen Stewart in a similar way; though I somewhat doubt that. I think Marilyn had a charm that made her memorable. Just look at how fun she is; her wide, girlish grin and flirty attitude. It's magnetic.

So my question to you is this: what immortal mark will you leave on the world? Will you use your kindness to touch the lives of others, or equip a specific talent to leave your own personal stamp behind? Let me know in the comments section, I'd like to know

 - Alice x x x

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