Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dialogue With the Demented

Anna Kornikova, the former tennis player/model/celebrity babe just turned 28 years old. She never quite got to the very top of the tennis world as a player, but is still around and looks, well, pretty good. The reason she gets a mention here is that her toothsome image turned up in a tennis catalog that came last week. She was doing the marketing thing for a shoe company, but, of course, it's not her feet that made her famous. Should I object that life is so unfair as to always favor those already blessed with BOTH athleticism and beauty? I could, but that wouldn't change anything.

Sticking around in the church means, for us, that you get plenty of chances to help people in all kinds of humble ways. If you are observant, you will learn something about people in the process which you can hopefully apply to your own or someone else's life.
Last week, for instance, I was asked to supply someone who could stay with one of our oldest members for an hour or so while his wife went to the doctor's office. I was going to be in the neighborhood anyway, so I showed up for duty. The wife was in some pain, but the husband, a man now past ninety years old, was perfectly comfortable, though he suffers from dementia, and therefore can't be left alone.
I was not sure what to expect. He had a seat in the living room, and I thought he might just go to sleep. Instead we talked about his life. A native of Liverpool, England, he had been around during some important things, such as WW II and the Battle of Britain. His role in that effort was mostly clerical, so he had no combat stories. He talked at length, however, about Liverpool as a place, especially the port itself. He could name all the docks (Why weren't they just numbered?), and talked of things like carrying large amounts of cash to the docks in order to pay off a debarking crew. He had always, he said, preferred to live near the sea.
I didn't ask him about the recent events of his life, and it's very possible that what I heard was a familiar recital to those who know him better. He couldn't even quite say how he came to live in California, 7,000 miles removed from Liverpool. Still, he seemed completely lucid as he summed up of his views of life. Complaining about things makes no sense, he said, because we arrive where we do as a result of the decisions we make. There it is. Nothing too original or startling, but when someone past ninety sums up human existence, we should listen whether or not the speaker could be described as "demented". It was an hour well spent.


Blogger Mona said...

Why don't you feel the same way about my mother's commments.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

I like this one

3:15 PM  
Blogger jarafamily said...

I gave Margaret Sauter the link to your blog. She wrote back and said "I liked your Dad's blog, So well written!"

I also liked this week's post. and Yes, you should sit down and listen to Granny's stories once in a while.

5:24 PM  

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