Cup of Water from George of Spain


"Well my friend, how are you? I haven't seen you here in a couple of weeks and I wondered what had happened."

It was my octogenarian friend George. I was pushing out dairy product at my Saturday grocery job. I told him about my trips to London to help parents in their adjustment to a retirement home. About my Mother's promising recovery from hip replacement surgery. About my Father's dwindling physical strength and brooding silence. I had seen them earlier in the week and had sat in the dining room making observations on their progress.

I was saddened by my Dad's condition - wheelchair, listless, sparse in conversation, confused, returning to his single quiet room after Mom's good-night kiss, all too soon ready for bed. No ideas for activities. Bored. Effectively blind. Was he giving up? How hard should I push him for exercise, for involvement, for hope?

"Doug I see a lot of this every day at the coffee shop," said George. "Elderly people going through regrettable change. Leaving their homes. Becoming dependent for things which before seemed easy. The men are always the ones who take it hard. And now it is your Dad's turn. Give him time. Let the thoughts and memories and loyalties and purposes churn around in his mind. He may come through this thing yet."

Thanks for that cup of cold water George. I needed it.

Note: Readers may recall our earlier post entitled "George of Spain".

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