Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Really old friends!

This afternoon I have a clash...two people here at the same time....
One of them is my gardener John. He enjoys a cup of tea and a sticky bun in my summerhouse during his three hour stint. Usually I sit with him whilst we sort out the world .....
My other visitor is an old friend from the village I used to live in. I always offer to drive to her house but today her mind was made up....she's coming here!
I don't think we three will drink tea together but it would be an interesting meeting.
Another old friend died during my last two weeks away...Ruth Hamilton was not my friends real name. It was her pen name....she was a prolific writer, writing to the end...
I am listening to one of her books read by another friend, Marlene who mostly gets the Lancastrian pronunciation right....
I listen to Ruthies books with great affection because they take me back to a Lancashire long gone...which now exists only in our memory!
All of this is sad really....all my best friends are ancient as am I....
But we remember the same things, we grew up during the last war, we knew the strictures of rationing both of food and of clothes.
We all went to grammar schools....which we gladly acknowledged to have been the best possible start to our deprived lives....but times were different then.....
My mental adjustment to old age seems to be taking up a lot of blogging time right now...I suppose it's because during the last months I have been forced into an acknowledgement of being  old .which I had managed to avoid previously.
So be it !

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1 comment:

  1. Being old is a state of mind? Isn't it?

    Today I was privileged to bring Ivy, a 103 old lady to church. She had full mobility and faculties until a fall at 100, which broke her hip, took away her independence and leaves her totally frustrated.

    She is able to look after herself at home to a great extent, albeit, it takes her an hour or more to get herself up. Than a grand daughter, who is her official carer comes, helps her to dress and does lunch, and takes her out to the shops, to hair dressers (it is kept very well indeed) and to meet friends. But a great deal of the time she is on her own, which worries her a bit.

    I had been bringing her to 8 am BCP for a year or so, when she decided that getting herself up for it, meant rising at 4 am - and was so tiring that she slept the rest of the day - which she considers time wasted. She has been receiving home communion for a while, but misses meeting people in church, which she has attended before her accident for over 70 years, she was married there, her children were baptized and confirmed there and married there as well. They all, while living, live many miles away, but she only sees them irregularly due to distance.

    So, today is an experiment to see, if a later BCP service would suit her, and it did. She lit up and joined us for coffee and social time, including speaking to the son of a neighbour or hers from the post war years, himself, now nearly a pensioner, as they reminisced the days, after she was bombed out in 1942, and lived in prefabs at the top of the road for 12 years, until her husband was able to have their house rebuilt.

    She has a fantastic memory for people and places, and I've have learned more from her about the village, pre-war (they were married in 1938) and post-war than I could get from history books. She recognizes names on the war memorial as families that she grew up with and whose descendants still live locally.

    The point I make is that at 103, with all of her faculties, she still has much to offer, and she is an inspiration to the rest of us, 40 years younger, who call ourselves old, and complain about our aches and pains.

    She often says, that only the good die young - and she must have been very wicked to still be with us :)

    But goodness and love of God, family and community has been her life and her legacy. She could be my Grand Mother in a different life, I truly value our friendship.