A smattering of this and that...
I didn't write about this when it happened the weekend before last because I was so embarrassed. Molson and I went to visit two friends at a nursing home. All went well during our first visit on the second floor where the woman we visited has memory loss. She is the mother of someone in our congregation and is staying in the nursing home for four weeks while her daughter, who she lives with, is away. Her daughter had asked for visitors while she is there. I asked if she liked dogs, as I would take Molson with me if she did. She was delighted and told me that her mother's favourite T.V. show is Sue Thomas FB Eye ; one I hadn't heard of, but based on a true story of a detective with a dog. The heroine is an expert lip reader and her hearing ear dog, named Levi, is a golden retriever. It was love at first sight when Molson appeared and he was patted and stroked by the woman and a small crowd of other residents of the home who were gathering in anticipation of supper time.
When we went down to visit my other friend, who is Susan's special friend Fanny, we found her in bed, too high up to see Molson. She cried, "I can't see him," so I patted the side rail, to get Molson to stand up beside the bed. To my horror, he misunderstood and in an instant he obligingly crouched down then bounded over the side rail, and onto the bed, shocking me and frightening Fanny. He jumped right down but poor Fanny was so upset and I felt terrible. I went to tell a nurse what had happened, feeling like a complete failure as a visitor of the frail elderly. The nurse was reassuring but I was relieved to find that Fanny was drifting off into a peaceful sleep when I went back to the room. This weekend I went back without Molson. I just thought that they might think, "Oh, no, here she comes again."
Fanny seemed to have forgotten last week's episode though, and although she was asleep when I arrived, when I gently said her name, her eyes opened immediately and smiled in recognition and pleasure at a visitor; eyes of speedwell blue, in a face of softest white skin. Her voice was too faint to hear, so I did the talking, about things I knew she would enjoy being reminded of: her old and dear friend Rosie, who was known for her singing and yodelling and who Fanny was mourning so deeply when she went to heaven first, that I introduced her to my dear friend Susan, who didn't replace Rosie, but became the best friend anyone could have been to Fanny once Rosie had gone on. Fanny's eyes lit up with each triggered memory, and she made little sounds of pleasure.
I had arrived at the home part way through an interfaith church service being held in the lounge. Our church worship team was part of it and my friend Frances, a.k.a. Poppy, sang a beautiful solo. Before they left to go home and I went off to visit my two friends, Frances said she'd been shopping the day before in an antique store in Cookstown with her mother. "I bought you something," she said, and then, "Oh, but I shouldn't tell you, it's a bit saucy."
"What?" I said, "You have to tell me now!"
"Well, it's a little paperweight," she said, "And I know how you love swings. It says, 'Know when to get off the swing!'"
So, dear friends, I'm looking forward to getting my paperweight. I'm not sure what it means, "Know when to get off the swing." But I hope I know when it's time...! :)