“I can’t hold cards. But I can with this card holder, which a friend’s son made. The cards tilt a tiny bit, and my friend painted it and added my initials and a little flower. She ‘fancied it up’ for me.”
Cindy and her husband have lived and raised their kids in the same house they live in today. When her daughters were young children, Wednesday nights were an important “mom’s night out” for the neighborhood young mothers. It’s when they got together to play bridge, “but it’s really where we solved all the problems of the world.” The group has been together “for decades,” with some attrition due to one person moving away and another developing dementia. Resuming bridge playing was an important activity to help Cindy recover and recapture her important friendships and routines. “I love it, and I love those people,” Cindy explained. In the early days after her heart attack, the group would come to her house, so she didn’t need to get used to new stairs or new bathrooms. But then she and her friends figured out what it would take to get her out of her own house (a welcome change). The carpenter son of one group member installed a railing by the three steps up into the host’s house so Cindy could get in.
Access to her friend Jean’s house was solved, but how would Cindy hold and play the cards? “I can’t hold cards. But I can with this card holder, which the same friend’s son made. The cards tilt a tiny bit, and my friend painted it and added my initials and a little flower. She ‘fancied it up’ for me. I would have needed to hold and sort cards, arrange the hand, and with the same hand that’s holding them, put my cards out to play because my right hand doesn’t have a pinch. I can’t do that. But this ‘card holder’ holds the cards, then my left hand can play my cards.”
Cindy is always thinking of new things to create and says that she has thought up another solution. “If I forget to bring my card holder, and I am at Jean’s house, what would I do? I could put 2 books together, spine to spine and prop the cards up where the books meet.”
Reflecting on the friend’s son’s carpentry work and all the other support she has gotten from her bridge group and other friends, Cindy notes, “It takes a village, definitely. If I subtracted all the things others have helped with, I’d be left with a very small world.”