An 87-year-old friend phoned me to help with her toilet. Yes. I said toilet. It was plugged. I went. Toilet fixed and she cracked some champagne for us because we haven’t seen one another since before Christmas.
Next thing I know, well, you know it. I went out to do a favour and came home with a new appreciation of aging. It is not easy but making friends is always the best policy. You never know when you might need one to plunger your toilet back to functioning!
My friend can be quite crusty but hey, she has a right to be herself, and I not only worked with but cut my teeth on the brittlest of people. So it cannot be all bad, I didn’t do all that learning for nothing and I have been gearing myself to do this kind of work helping seniors someday because I live in their community. Who knows? Maybe my friend is teaching me more than I know about what I am here for.
So here’s my foray into a new line of thinking. And all I could think tonight when my friend was talking to me was how “with it” she still is for all her forgetfulness and in her, I saw my Granny, I saw my Mom, I saw me. We all just want to be loved and stay in our homes as long as we possibly can, don’t we.
I will do as I do with everything and do my very best for my friend as and when I can to help out. Mostly because I care about my friend and want to do a good job whatever I do, paid or volunteer or as her friend. Which is what I would want friends of my mother’s to do and they did when she needed them and I lived too far to be of any help in her last two years of life.
Meanwhile I get to listen to my friends stories, her devilish sense of humour as intact as ever… and her lively, sentimental memories. She even reminded me of a couple of things I forgot from when we first met in 2001.
She gave me a hug as I left tonight and said, “Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your hair always smells so good.”
And they say she can’t remember much.