Friday, 31 January 2020


come in all shapes and sizes and sorts.
Mine come to visit us yesterday. It is almost certainly the last time he will do it. He will turn 95 on the 6th of March and his children say it is time he gave up driving. I suspect it is too.
My godfather is still intellectually sharp. He is getting increasingly deaf. That problem started early - on a naval ship in the Pacific during WWII.  He is a very tall, very thin man with a "bad back" - another war time injury where some vertebrae were crushed. It didn't stop him working although there must have been times when the pain felt unbearable.
And cars have always been an important part of his life. He has driven since he was fifteen. No, it wasn't legal even then but there were no computers to do an age check and  he  was so tall he got away with it. He has an absolutely clean driving record too.
But when he gives up driving? He sighed.
   "Yes, it's time...on my birthday. I had to come to see you and I am going to see my brother."
He lives too far from us for me to help. His children will help when they can  but... His wife is in the early stages of a form of dementia. She gets very anxious if he leaves her even just to walk down the driveway to their letter box. Their daughter was "mum-sitting" yesterday - so he could come to see us.
I put the kettle on. I listened. I heard all the words and I also heard the despair and depression underneath. 
My godfather and I barely saw one another for years. It was just one of those things. My mother wanted someone else to be my godfather. I am always grateful that the Senior Cat said "no".  A very close friend of my mother was my godmother and that was a good choice. We were close. I needed her at times. But it has only  been since the death of my mother that my godfather and I have grown closer. 
I watch him now. He is old, very old - although not as old as the Senior Cat.  There should be an easy way for him to get to us or the Senior Cat to get to him with a bit of help from me if necessary. It shouldn't be a matter of taxi fares. 
The old need company too. They need company just as much as the young. It is hard enough for them that members of their own generation are no longer with us. We ought to make it much easier for them to see those who remain whenever they want to do so.

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