one of them is decidedly frail.
The Senior Cat and I were invited to a celebration of a 60th Wedding Anniversary yesterday. The Senior Cat was the "best man" at the wedding. The other groomsman and his wife, who was Matron of Honour, were also there. The bridesmaid was not. She died several years ago. Still, it was a pretty remarkable thing to have so many of the immediate wedding party there.
It was not a big celebration though. The Senior Cat's friend has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and, while still functioning on a daily basis, everyone knows that he "forgets" things.
Their daughter arranged a surprise afternoon tea. Her mother thought the children had completely forgotten the occasion. We have been invited to lunch on Tuesday (the actual date) as she thought nobody had remembered at all. We all kept our mouths firmly shut and their delight was obvious.
But I looked at them. The Senior Cat was not the oldest person in the room. That honour went to their daughter's mother-in-law. She is 98 and a feisty Italian with a wicked sense of humour. I have come to know her over the years and like her a lot. Her husband is several years younger. The Senior Cat comes next. They all look younger than the groom who is in fact only 85. Alzheimer's seems to take a toll on appearance too - at least for some.
We have not, for one reason and another, seen them for twelve months and he looked a little bent. His hair, what's left of it, is completely white now. He moves a little more slowly. His wife, three years younger, looks grey with the increased responsibilities and her own ill health.
There was another elderly couple there. The husband is "only 82" and looks at least ten years older than that. His wife looks so much younger it is difficult to believe that they too have been married for nearly 60 years.
But the couple were obviously thrilled that yes, the children had remembered. There was a simple afternoon tea with a cake that was a replica of the simple cake at their wedding.
We left late in the afternoon and I wondered what they were thinking. Sixty years of memories are fading for one and not the other.