wings and things

The party

on April 29, 2015

Last Saturday I invited a wonderful friend, Mike, who has done the painting in this house over many decades, for drinks at the nursing home at 3pm and my lovely friend, Mel, and her daughter, Emily, also joined us.

Of course it wasn’t the sort of party we might have had years ago when Anthony’s mother was alive, where the drinks were over flowing and the nibbles plentiful: champagne, pink gins, cinzano, cocktail sausages, oysters, assorted cheeses, pate, and other savouries. Neither was it the sort of party we had in Anthony’s pre-marriage-to-me bachelor days: lots of beer, roast chicken, steak on the barbecue, and, seasonally, crayfish.

It was a much simpler affair with just the five of us and the unexpected addition of a nephew from Perth, but this small number of people easily fills Anthony’s nursing home room and seems like a crowd. Also, despite the fact that none of us could drink much (or anything at all) due to having to drive home, and my bowl of almonds wasn’t popular, the open bottle of red wine, the wine glasses that I had ready, and a few bottles of warm beer, simulated a real party-of-old. We were all quite lively and attentive to Anthony and, thinking about it now, it wouldn’t have worked with any more people because it would have been too overwhelming for him.

After everyone left and Ants and I were talking about how lovely the occasion had been, I felt I’d hit on a great idea for the future. I could invite a handful of his many friends for the same kind of party every now and then; I might even be able to get a few of his friends and relatives that are a bit nervous of the nursing home to come along. Yes! I need to take the initiative here and do a bit of old-fashioned planning and inviting.

The next day, Mike emailed me this message:

Hey Julie, just a thank you for yesterday at the nursing home with Anthony.
I was happy to see Ants in a great frame of mind he is looking so well as to when I last saw him. I was laughing to myself all the way home with his comments to me when i told him that he waited until he was 55 then got married at 57, and he replied ” you’re an arsehole” he definitely hasn’t lost his sense of humour. I thought he was extremely bright also yesterday.

I’m thinking that the nursing home has done him the world of difference in knowing that he is being looked after so well in his stage of life with old age and all that goes with it.

Sadly yes he would still like to be home with his Julie and Ming on the farm but that is not possible now. We all realize that he is in the best possible care .

Family and friends can still get to visit him there for however long they have time to spend with him so long as it doesn’t tire him out, I noticed yesterday that he does tire out.

I will come see him again soon to stir him up or he to me.

It was good to see you again you are looking bright again since I last saw you on the farm the afternoon you brought Anthony out for afternoon visit.

Today, it was very easy to conjure Anthony’s newfound smile by reminding him of the party. This was our conversation:

Me: Wasn’t it great to see Mike again!
Ants: The food wasn’t good.
Me: Okay, so what do you want next time?
Ants: Hors d’oeuvres, you know, the ones ….
Me: That your mum used to make – yes I get that!
Ants: Is she all right?
Me: Who, Mel?
Ants: No, Mum.
Me: She’s fine, Ants.

Thanks so much, Mike, Mel, Em, and nephew Michael for being part of last Saturdays party!

24 responses to “The party

  1. niasunset says:

    Dear Julie this is so nice, so nice… But let me add this, Anthony is a lucky man to have you. You are doing great. But I know this is LOVE, love keeps you both strong. Blessing and Happiness to you both, by the way, if I were there, I would love to visit you too dear Julie… Thank you, love, nia

  2. That is such a good idea.. to bring a few… not so many as to be overwhelming…but a few friends and/or relatives and have a party…(with d’oeuvres of course),,, Diane

  3. Rhonda says:

    You’ve hit on another way to show that man how much you love him and your life together. Shame the almonds weren’t a big hit 😉 Maybe a softer nut? lol

  4. susanpoozan says:

    What a splendid idea, I hope that you can make it work again.

  5. Judy says:

    What a beautiful image! Instead of a depressing nursing home image – you’ve transformed it. And the best part is the memories that sustain you and Anthony after the party is over. Love it. Give yourself a big pat on the back because you made it happen.

  6. Mike is a good friend and it sounds like you had a wonderful party Julie. ❤
    Diana xo

  7. dogdaz says:

    Nice to have get togethers. Good to see how Ants is from other people’s eyes.

  8. tootlepedal says:

    It sounds like a great party. I hope that you can organise more.

  9. What a grand idea. I wish most people understood nursing homes are not meant to just ‘warehouse’ people. THey are places for people to live. And they can live there having such wonderful activities and life. Just like you do. You need to set the nursing home world on edge Julie. Keep sending out these stories of life and love. In the nursing home.

  10. ksbeth says:

    this sounds like it was the perfect party –

  11. Terry says:

    I love how you include Ants in so many things. I did the same for Al too

  12. Sounds like a wonderful time was had

  13. janeslog says:

    Ants will have enjoyed it, I’m sure. Don’t worry about the number of people – you can have a good party with a small number.

    The drink driving limit in Scotland is the same as in Australia (it is higher in England) so many people have taken to drinking non-alcoholic beers and wines instead. You might find some non-alcoholic drinks which you like for your next party.

  14. bulldog says:

    What a great idea… and the email says it all… get organising girl and get on to making the snacks… hell I wish I could visit…

  15. What a fine idea. Something to raise the spirits when needed.

  16. Awesome, Julie. Ants is so lucky to have you and his friends in his life.

  17. Amy says:

    Funny and sweet, and poignant. You capture it so well.

  18. My Heartsong says:

    easier to plan, easier on Anthony and you-good fun.

  19. Judith Post says:

    What a lovely time! So glad everyone enjoyed it. The pressure’s on for better snacks, though:)

  20. Lovely idea, Julie! A small party now and then!

    Do they have these in Australia? We love them for taking sausages, meatballs and other warm savories to parties.

  21. lensgirl53 says:

    A lovely affair to add to your memories. ☺

  22. Tiny says:

    What a wonderful idea, and of course it was a success! Next time you’ll know what to make/bring 😉

  23. Gatherings of old friends is a wonderful thing!

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