I hope you had a joyous weekend. This is by far my favourite season - so much so that I question the fact that I manage to survive winter when I am reminded of the ease of summer living - the lovely light, my energy levels rising, the ease of drying clothes (such a silly thing which makes such a difference) and the quiet moments of stillness where all I can hear is birdsong...not to mention the glorious gardens full of honeysuckle and delicate pinks and lilacs. I indulged my fondness for Sweet Williams and prepared a simple and healthy lunch for an elderly friend today. We ate...
I heart crisp salads, the scent of fresh basil and melt in your mouth goat's cheese...with yummy diced butternut squash and aubergine slices.Having cared for my grandmother and now, spending time with her dear friend whom I shall call Matilda, I am reminded again of how challenging old age is. It's easy to rush around and forget about older people. I'm guilty of it myself when there are weeks I don't feel I have the time to visit Matilda, partly because the conversations are slow and I fear too much of an interruption to an already hectic schedule.
The long weekend was a blessing and I got to see some of my favourite people and to give Matilda a manicure and a wax treatment after our long lunch. I could see how wonderfully relaxed she felt as I massaged her hands and arms - absolute bliss on her face. It got me wondering why we often think of volunteering or giving charity as something almost corporate or perhaps involving a mini triathlon when so much of it can be done with/for our nearest and dearest within our own communities. I have been inquiring about helping out at the Women's Centre and of course I'd like to have time to do it all, but maybe I'd be better off spending more time with Matilda each week.
From talking to Matilda I know that she loses her balance and is having nasty falls; that she is on medication with unpleasant side effects; that she can't hear well even with her seemingly useless hearing aid; that she misunderstands many conversations; that she worries she has the beginnings of Alzheimers; that she is occasionally exploited by trades people; that she has aches and pains and feels utterly depressed at times. She would love a cuddle and she misses her husband who died just before Christmas. They were very much in love - her husband told me that he fell in love with her a little more everyday.
I know that Matilda is lucky to have known a wonderfully loving relationship and to have caring and demonstrative children and grandchildren, but for me this served as another reminder to find the balance between living for today and for looking after tomorrow. I am pain free and can take strides without sticks. For that I am grateful. And a note to myself to juice more greens in the hope that I can keep my bones and brains in a healthy state.