Saturday, June 1, 2013

On the shutting and opening of doors ...

Baz and I worked in his garden on Wednesday, and then wandered the walkways looking at other people's gardens. As we did so, he kept bringing the conversation back to his girlfriend at his previous aged-care facility. She had not been well, he proferred. And when I agreed, he added that she may even have died, which I confirmed. This released a gush of confabulation, whereupon not only had Margaret died, but he had been there and was the first to notice that she was slumped and no longer breathing. I took all this in my stride, and we meandered back into the facility to have my nostrils enticed by the smell of raisin toast. Yum, yum. It was 10am, and I had left home at 6:30am with nowt but a cup of coffee. It turns out that on the last Wednesday of the month, the activity room is transformed into a coffee shop, replete with menu, and waitresses. All for a gold coin. Having two such coins, we both had a cappuccino, with Baz plumping for scones with jam and cream, while I woofed into ... raisin toast.

Sated, we walked the corridor back to his room to get the painting equipment. That was when we bumped into Rosemary. 'Bumped' is hardly right. Rosemary made a bee-line for him, and Baz grinned and asided, 'Here comes my new girlfriend'. Ahh ... that gives context to the morning, thinks I.

So, Rosemary was instant 'family', and was included in the rest of the morning. We got his gear, went into one of the many tv lounges, and Baz painted whilst Rosemary and I chatted. She is good at chatting, is Rosemary. She is similar to Barry: healthy of body, but a smidge damaged of mind. My guess is she might be in her early 70s. My guess is that she never married. My guess is she has Alzheimers. She also has a sister, Gloria, who has a number of daughters. She was adamant that her mother is 83 and not very well. She had no idea of her own age. But did know that she used to live in a house in Carlingford with her mother and father. Barry painted away, smiling all the while, but non-committal. But all is well with his world once again. At one stage during the morning, he said that he had never had a girlfriend. I do know he spent the previous 40 years living in the forest by himself. He has a stoke and moves into aged-care, and now is onto his second 'girlfriend. Life moves in wondrous ways.


brattcat said...

indeed. thank you for lifting the curtain a smidge and sharing some of the wondrousness with us.

Kay L. Davies said...

I'm happy for Barry. When you're healthy and have self-determination, companionship is nice in its way, but it is essential after that mysterious curtain has fallen. Alone by choice is not at all the same as alone in a group.