jmgoyder

wings and things

Chapter 41: I can’t wait to get there [2011 – 2017]

on October 8, 2021

There is a big difference between visiting a loved one in a nursing home out of a sense of duty and visiting for fun – yes fun! I know what this difference is because, with Anthony, I experienced the former to begin with but, after about a year, the latter kicked in big-time.

The dreaded visit to see my beautiful, lonely, homesick, confused husband was gradually transformed into an ‘I can’t wait to get there’ feeling. This was partly due to my decision not to take him out for drives, or to home, or for lunch because the disorientation and heartbreak of wrenching him back from home to the nursing home (for instance) was ghastly for both of us.

Sunday was definitely the best day of the week because the management staff weren’t there so the atmosphere was completely different, more relaxed. It was also the best day of the week because my mother came straight after church. But the absolute best best thing about Sundays was when Anthony’s nephew, Peter, visited.

Peter lived quite close-by to the nursing home so he was able to easily drop in on weekends. Sometimes I would miss him and my mother would tell me and I would be so disappointed because it was always so much fun when Peter was there. Apart from my mother and Ming, Peter was Anthony’s most regular visitor and what I loved most of all about these visits was that there was no sense of duty in Peter’s demeanor; he just wanted to see Anthony, his uncle.

One of the most ironic things about this was that Peter’s mother, Anthony’s older sister, had also been in a nursing home with dementia. Anthony was always nervous and reluctant to visit her; perhaps he didn’t want to see what might happen to him? If I had know then what I know now I would have forced him to visit her, but I didn’t and I regret that. Peter’s mother, and his father too, were the first to make me feel comfortable within the family from the very beginning and ongoing. My memories of them include Cinzano, daffodils, picking oranges, and chicken and mushroom spaghetti.

Whenever I knew Peter might visit, I would get that ‘I can’t wait to get there’ impetus because the dynamics of his presence in the nursing home room with Ants, my mother and me was absolutely fabulous. I will always be grateful for those many hours of light-hearted joy over those years.

Thank you, Peter.


5 responses to “Chapter 41: I can’t wait to get there [2011 – 2017]

  1. Anonymous says:

    I loved your visits too, Peter! Made each Sunday even better!

  2. susanpoozan says:

    What a splendid chap Peter was, and is no doubt.

  3. Nice memories. Hope you are still in touch with Peter.

  4. This took me back to all the years when mum & I would visit first Aunty Joyce then later my Nan

  5. Writer Lori says:

    Peter sounds like a lovely individual…someone whose natural light emanates. ❤️

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