The Janitor clocked in at the nursing home a little early that morning. He had a lot to do and didn’t want to miss anything.
Grabbing the broom and other tools from the custodian’s closet, he checked them over very carefully. They were well worn and the other janitors didn’t take care of them the way he did. But they had enough left to do this one last job.
He pushed the cart up the first hall and to the first room.
Janice Robinson was the name on the door but he knew she preferred to be called Janie. He knew she had one living son and three grandchildren who lived on the other side of the country. He knew that she loved Charlie Chaplin and brought in extra money during the hard years by mending clothes for the men who had lost their wives. Janie passed away peacefully in her sleep last Tuesday.
He slowly moved past Janie’s room to George Hargrove.
Captain George had served in the Army during World War I. He wasn’t really a captain but he was always barking orders at the employees so everyone had just started saying, “Yes, Captain,” and the name stuck. In truth, George felt like he was losing control of his whole world and ordering people around felt like he still had some of that. But only The Janitor knew that.
“Why are you here?!” George yelled at The Janitor.
He didn’t respond. He never did. Instead The Janitor cleaned up George’s room one last time, collecting the trash and the dust. But, more importantly, collecting the stories of these lost souls. Collecting the forgotten moments and fleeting memories.
One by one, The Janitor cleaned and packed away the rooms in the nursing home. He checked off the ones where the prior residents had already passed on to another life. Next to the ones that had been relocated to other homes, he placed a small dot. Their stories weren’t over but it was no longer his job to collect them and keep them when no one else had. He hoped there was someone who would listen to them the way that he did, someone who would continue to collect their stories after this nursing home was closed and forgotten.
Photo and story ©️Nicole Bandes – All rights reserved.⠀
I hope you enjoyed my little story. I believe all places hold many forgotten stories. This is just one of the many possibilities. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
And they also hold real histories. Not all of the histories are known, but many are. And I hope to also share those whenever possible.
The information currently available on this building can be tracked to one post on the internet. Pinehurst Convalescent Home was built in the 1920s as a hotel. Shortly thereafter, it was converted to a nursing home. It is unclear when it was officially closed. Photos from circa 2013 show it already in an advanced state of decay.