Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Shirley isn't trapped anymore

Opie tends to Shirley on our first visit

I found out yesterday that one of the first people I met, with little Opie, at Cove's Edge, has died. She was only 61. 
Shirley really struck me, and my heart. When I visited with Opie on that first visit, Abbey the activity director had brought many residents out-they have a lovely large area outside perfect for our animal visits. I told Abbey how Opie would find who needed him most, but that I would also let him visit everyone. And we did, but Opie kept going back to Shirley. Shirley had just arrived there and of course I'm not privileged to knowing all the details of her condition but I assumed she had a stroke. She could not speak, she could smile though, and her limbs were crippled and she was in a wheelchair. I was told she loved animals and was very depressed as you can only imagine. 
Well, that day, Opie found her, and every time I'd share him with others, Opie kept going back to Shirley. It was a beautiful thing, a sad thing, aand  memorable thing. I miss both of them. 
Sometimes when I went on visits, Shirley seemed more glum, sometimes, as when she saw Harry out the window, she beamed.
Shirley was a nurse before her life changed. She had two children all grown up. She liked crafting and campfires and being outdoors. I can only imagine being trapped in a body, and then with COVID trapped in a building. I hope Opie, and Bear [he sat on her bed many times as a pup and she always smiled] and Harry...helped her situation, I know it did even if it was fleeting. I know we all hope she found Opie, and anyone else she craved to mingle with again. 
You're not trapped anymore, Shirley.

The Opie Love Mobile and Shirley

In her former world, from her obit

She just beamed at Harry the llama