Friday, 12 June 2015

A timely meeting.

Yesterday I went over to another village to do the midweek communion. I know most of the regulars there and looked forward to seeing old friends...
Several of them had sent me apologies..the good weather had brought out all the visitors and mostly they had other plans for the day.
I was not expecting a big congregation. About half way through the service a new person arrived and took communion. I recognised her but couldn't come up with a name until at the end of the service she flung her arms around me and told me how glad she was to see me again...
Then I realised who it was....This very old, very frail lady was an old friend...she had helped me through my time as an ordinand and then my curacy.
We sat down after the service to talk. The change in her was so marked that just for once I was struggling to find the right words!
The bottom line put all my anxieties into perspective. We are the same age give or take a couple of months. She was moving very slowly, with obvious difficulty but her main problem was the serious one...she had Altzeimers.
It's still in its fairly early stage, she was able to talk...but it was the physical change in her that shocked me....
All my tiny problems are nothing compared with hers....a timely lesson has been learned Lord...I pray for her and for all those struggling with this appalling disease. To be robbed of your dignity, your memories and your life in old age is more than any of us could cope with easily.
This encounter brought a new dread to me but put my present tiny problem sharply into focus. It could happen to any of us...
Old age is not for wimps.

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of a precious lady I know in a previous parish. She has early onset and I only see her occasionally now for obvious reasons, but the changes are marked each time.

    But for the moment, we embrace as friends as she continues to recognise me - but I worry about her future. Luckily she is surrounded by a loving spouse and family, including the church family. But the loss of faculty she knows in herself is distressing for her and for those who know and love her.

    Prayers are off course offered, but God's not going to intervene, her gradual decline will continue, all that we can do is to continue to be there for her.