Written By: Sandra Pugh
Doris was probably a wild child and grew into a very fun loving, outgoing adult. She could zing you and you didn’t know you’d been had by the master until it was too late to respond. So her quiet passing was totally out of character. We expected her to leave us laughing, teasing, kicking butt and taking names.
She was a long time resident at Wesley Towers in Hutchinson and a good friend to a select few. I met Doris shortly after I started to work there when I drove her to the clinic one day. They had to knock her out for a procedure that lasted about an hour. After the procedure I went back to drive her home to the Towers.
She was one of those people that didn’t handle anesthesia well. I found out after several more trips to pick up people after the same procedure that the anesthesia they use for that procedure does that to a lot of people. She handled it during the procedure just fine but she didn’t shake off the anesthesia well.
She walked to the car just fine and was talking to me so I thought she was doing okay. Could not have been farther from the truth. The first question I asked her when we were in the car received a very strange answer and I knew she was not tracking well.
I got a big kick out of some of the things that came out of her mouth that day and she had me chuckling all the way back to the Towers. I kidded her many times about what she said to me that day. When she asked what she said I would just smile and tell her that was my secret. I never told her I couldn’t remember all she said but I do remember the answers were funny.
Doris was a lab tech when she worked at the Lyons Hospital. She drew blood and did all the workups. She was very precise in everything she did and that carried over to her everyday life. If things were not done precisely it drove her nuts. She was just as precise with her quilting.
She came to all of the cinnamon roll classes I taught at the Towers. The 8 residents (the number I accepted for each class) watched me mix up the dough and were given a portion of it to roll out and put the butter, cinnamon and sugar on. They’d roll the dough up and cut it into rolls and place them in a small pan to rise. An hour later they had six fresh out of the oven rolls to take home.
I have been making the rolls for more years than I care to think about and don’t need the recipe and never measure ingredients. During class I’d use a cup to add the flour but just added until it was the right consistency. (It all depends on the size of the eggs.)
It drove Doris crazy when I was adding the ingredients to the dough. I noticed her fidgeting the first time she sat in on the class and knew exactly what was bothering her. I looked at her and smiled and she asked: “Aren’t you going to measure anything?”
“NOPE, don’t need to!”, then continued mixing the dough. It was all she could do to watch me make the dough and was always surprised it turned out perfect. But, she’d tolerate me not measuring (never quietly) to have fresh cinnamon rolls to take home.
Doris was the official cheerleader for the Wii bowling games at the Towers and for the annual resident/staff Wii Bowling Tournament. She brought two cow bells with her to the games and the tournament. She rang the larger bell when a resident made a strike, the smaller one when they made a spare. There was total silence when the staff members made a strike or a spare during the tournament.
Doris did not have children (even though she and her husband wanted them) so she adopted me. She became my adopted mom TROUBLE and I was her (adopted daughter sandy). Along the way she started to call my husband her Grandson (if any one can figure out how that relationship works, I would love for you to tell me).
We said goodbye to Doris the morning of the total eclipse. It was just like her to do something dramatic; she waited until 1:00 am that morning to leave us so she could ride the moon and chase the sun. I will miss you amT.t To Contact Sandy: [email protected]