Friday, 29 October 2010

Now What Was It I Came Up Here For?

When I am at home I spend a great deal of my time moving between downstairs and upstairs. My study and computer live upstairs and my art materials downstairs in the garage, where I have made a painting space. Now that I am fit this does not cause me any real problems in terms of getting up and down the stairs. I can in fact do that with ease. Nevertheless it still does from time to time cause me another problem. Sometimes I make my way to the study, stop, look around and wonder why I am there. I knew I came up for something, but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was. I have those senior moments.

I once had an old lady, a member of my congregation, who would appear at my door at all sorts of times of the day and night. I got to accept that she had wandered out of the house and now did not where she was. A cup of coffee a chat and off back home and she was as right as rain. At least she always seemed to remember the way to the manse. She was a lovely old lady, and even as she was, a good golfer. Her friend often took her to the golf course and they played nine holes of golf had something at the clubhouse and returned home. She would often ask her friend, “Remind my who you are again, because you seem like a real nice person.”

It was sometimes frightening to think she might come to harm, but almost everybody knew her and she always either ended up at the manse or home. She was fortunate in managing to see out her last days in the familiar surrounds of her own home. She died having had a long life and almost the whole village turned out for her last farewell. And we all took her to her last resting place.

I was told a lovely story that reminded me of this old lady.

The old man had arrived at the hospital to have stitches removed from a cut in his finger. He kept looking at his watch as he was assessed by the nurse. He told her he had a very important appointment at 9am. It was now 8.30 and there seemed little chance that he would make it.

The nurse seeing his concern spoke to the doctor and it was agreed she would remove the stitches put on a clean dressing and let him go. As she did so she enquired about his important appointment, was it with his doctor? “Oh no,” he said, “I have to go to the nursing home to have breakfast with my wife.” The nurse asked him if she would mind if he was just a little bit late. He explained that she would not; she did not even remember who he was as she suffered from Alzheimer's disease. The nurse looked at him and asked, “You still go to see her every day at the same time, even though she does not know who you are?”

The old man patted the nurse’s hand, looked her in the eye and said, “She does not know who I am but I know who she is.”

True love is neither physical, nor romantic.

True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

My old friend Archie is 84 there was a time when I would not have been able to run alongside him he was so fast now he has difficulty walking from the shop to the inn. I still talk to him as a runner and I know he loves that that is how I still see him. Because when he looks in the mirror each day that is who he still sees.

This blog is linked to my other. The beauty of Age


  1. So when I'm crippled with arthritis and can't even pick up a brush anymore, its ok if I still think of myself as a painter?

    I'll have to remember that... It will be a rewarding thought.

  2. Susan you will always in your heart be a painter and what is more long after you are no more of this world your art will be remembered

  3. 'A very important appointment', spoken by the old man, is love as it should be.

    But do we need to be a certain age to appreciate the importance of love? It's not rocket science. To realise that loving is about being nice to each other not about sparring, not about competing. (That's my experience. Modern man hasn't risen to the challenge of accepting women as being equal.)

    Your post also reminds me of a quote from one of my favourite movies: Good Will Hunting, where the psycholgist (played by Robin Williams) talks of the time of first meeting his wife and he gave away big league baseball tickets 'to go see about a girl'. Now someone has their priorities right.

    'Remind my who you are again, because you seem like a real nice person,' spoken by the old lady above, but sounds like one of my characters from my satire speaking to one of her many admiring suitors/boyfriends.

    And talking of my novel ... thanks for your comments. I'm working on it as we speak. :)

  4. Thank you again Ralph or an insightful blog! A few messages in this one I need to pay attention to.
    My brother-in-law has Altzheimers and my sister visits him daily...and always at the same time. If for any reason she must miss he seems to become agitated at that time. So perhaps he does not recognize her; but he does know 'something' is amiss!
    I have difficulty defining love. I liked your very early post where you referred to three types of love....I remember Agape...what were the other two Eros? and ?. Need to remind us again.

  5. Good Morning Ralph, today will be another great day. I slept late today, winter is upon us! I am in a story telling mood and have begun one on my blog. I don't know where this story will go, it is for all of us to add to and I am hoping it is a party we will all enjoy. Please visit me!

  6. somehow my comment was deleted. Possibly by accident. So I'll repeat it again.. True love is not always physical or romantic but its a little like money.. It's certainly not everything, but sure helps to have it.

  7. Another touching post, Ralph. You are kind to treat your friend with such respect. No doubt, he feels more like a runner after time spent with you. Now, where did I leave my glasses? Who knew that I would one day sound exactly like my grandmother!