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The Golfer has been away over this past weekend (arrives home tomorrow evening) and there has been a couple of times when I could have done with him to give me a hand plus it was cold one night and I missed being able to snuggle up to him.  New jars can be a pain to open and he has larger (stronger) hands than me also has a warm body so does come in handy now and again lol

Anyway yesterday as I was putting away some ironing I thought how little there is when it’s only my clothes and then for some reason (don’t ask me why) the expression ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ came to mind which was followed by a little chuckle when I remembered another time that phrase was bandied around.

In another life (nearly twenty years ago) I worked in an aged care facility – we ran a programme they called Memory Therapy where you try to engage the person in conversation and using prompts encourage them to speak about their thoughts and memories. The group was a mix of men and women all suffering from various stages of dementia. Most families were enthusiastic and we asked them if it was possible to provide photographs and other items the elderly person hadn’t seen for a while.

Most times it produced just a blank look but there were times when we’d see smiles on faces, maybe the odd frown or even a few tears.  Sometimes we heard from those who were capable, a long description of who it was in a photograph or where it was taken or how they or someone else had made an article.

Then there was the day a daughter brought in a photo of a young man, her father who was long gone having died in his early 40s, taken about the same time her parents were married but not actually on their wedding day. (The wedding day photograph was in her mothers room so it was visible every day.)  She was hoping her very elderly mother who seemed to have no idea who was in the wedding photo would recognise the man in this particular one – at the time it was taken they lived on a rural property and the father was in his working overalls.  Sadly the mother didn’t recognise the daughter (who came to visit her nearly every day) for who she was and referred to her with her sister’s name (the daughter’s aunt)

So it’s time for this particular photo to appear, it was just placed on the table where we were all sitting and after a while one of us asked the mother ‘Who do you think that is?’  There was a pause and without looking up she quietly gave a name that we thought was one of her sons and then appeared to be more interested in the embroidered tablecloth that was in the lap of the lady sitting next to her.

Another lady had photos of her father and was saying how she missed the person who she thought was her brother and mentioned he never came to see her and then for some reason (maybe prompted by the talk of missing people) out of the mouth of another lady came that saying – Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

We were moving on to another resident and before we knew it the original lady picks up the photo of her husband from the table in front of her and points at the face saying  ‘I don’t miss him.  He was a right bugger! If he thought I wanted to go into town and he didn’t have the time he’d move the horses down to the back 40 acre paddock as he knew I’d not be able to round one up!

The daughter who was sitting nearby was flabbergasted and then upset to hear her mother say things never mentioned before – the mother was quite oblivious to what had happened and nodded off.  Shortly after that the programme changed a little that in that the family were encouraged to do the personal part as indivduals (aided by a staff member) and the staff concentrated on group music, poetry and environmental memories lol

So as you see it ain’t necessarily so
and it doesn’t always follow that
‘Absence will make the heart grow fonder’
because it certainly didn’t in that case

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