Sheila Rozann

For me this story illustrates how easily the calm, hard working, exhausted, sometimes discouraged caregiver’s needs can be overlooked in the drama of the patient’s illness.

Sheila is a powerhouse ballet teacher who’s list of students who have become illustrious, professional, principal and solo dancers in prestigious companies, is long.

She is 93 years old now and continues to teach a few times each week. It’s a struggle to get to the studio and back home but she carries on because when she begins a class, every single time, she is transported to a heavenly ageless place of the power of sharing her gifts.

Five or six years ago she lived with her life partner, Eleanor. Eleanor was not as healthy and strong as Sheila and when she died we learned she had suffered with bone cancer for years without being diagnosed. Eleanor was a powerhouse woman too, but she was limited by her physical body in her elder years.

Eleanor and Sheila were each other’s caregivers.

Eleanor told me a story that she thought was funny but I found to be poignant.

“Sheila woke up and felt that something was wrong with her heart. She felt it racing and also was unusually fatigued. She got dressed and sat on the couch waiting for me to wake up. When she told me what was happening I immediately called 911 because I knew the paramedics were always available at our home because that was part of the assisted living contract we had signed. Now, I am not dressed yet and have on only my bathrobe, but I was told to unlock the front door and someone would be here immediately. In my rush to get to the door I fell over my own walker and wasn’t able to get up. My robe got caught and there I was laying half naked, pinned under my walker but thankfully unhurt because of the carpeted floor and soft landing. What a sight. There was pounding on the door but fortunately they had another way to get it open because it was still locked. The rescue team ran over and started firing questions at me while unpacking their equipment. Sheila sat calmly on the couch waiting for the error to be remedied. Meanwhile, I’m still on the floor, having little success convincing the paramedics that I’m fine and that the calm woman on the couch is the one that needs their attention.”

It was a case of mistaken identity that eventually worked itself out and Sheila was checked out and eventually cleared.

For me this story illustrates how easily the calm, hard working, exhausted, sometimes discouraged caregiver’s needs can be overlooked in the drama of the patient’s illness.

Have you ever been overlooked when your needs were urgent?

4 thoughts on “Sheila Rozann

  1. Sheila Rozann was my Ballet teacher and truly is a powerhouse! An incredible woman who is strong, elegant, gracefully and steady. I pray for both of your healths and I sympathize and deeply thank you for caring for our beloved teacher. I miss her dearly, thank you for what you do. She is an angel and light of joy <3<3<3 please let me know if there is a possibility to get in contact with her. I have Ballet stories I want to tell her, so much has happened since I saw her last!

    1. Thank you for your comment! You can phone Sheila at 575-770-0184 in Santa Fe after noon or 1 pm any day, i am sure she would love to hear from you. XO

  2. What a gift to read this story and to hear that Sheila was still teaching classes at 93. Why am I not surprised! Sheila was not only my ballet teacher but she was a surrogate mom for my real mom who was emotionally unavailable. When my parents went to Spain one summer I was left with my grandmother. Not knowing what to do with me, my grandmother would take me to Sheila’s house each day and I would ride to the ballet studio with her every morning and take 3 or 4 classes a day. Sheila taught me a lot about being a strong woman. Although my career was in education I never stopped dancing and ended up getting ABT certified and teaching ballet to young students as a second career after I retired. Sheila shaped my life in so many ways and gave me the gift of dance for which I will be forever grateful. I love the fact that I can be a part of her beautiful life.

    1. Thank you for this memory, Sue!! I will call Sheila today and read your words to her!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *