For a while now I’ve wanted to write a post and introduce you to a few of my new friends. It’s been four months since Mum was admitted to Selwyn Park Hospital and I’ve been here pretty much every day for at least- three or four hours. I’ve got to know and love so many of the residents.
There’s Mrs A. who’s always cuddling a teddy bear. She loves to hold my hand. She talks to me so earnestly. She is fascinating to listen to—a constant stream of absolute gibberish that makes perfect sense to her. Sometimes she laughs, sometimes she cries. Every now and then you can understand what she’s saying, especially when it’s about Teddy. Yesterday I commented that Teddy was nicely wrapped up in her large white bib. She beamed and said, “Yes! He just absolutely adores me!”
The first time I met her she told me that Teddy had jumped up into her arms, put his arms around her neck and just wouldn’t let go. J Gorgeous. I love watching her cuddle and stroke Teddy. I bet she was a lovely Mummy. (She told me today though that he bit her this morning. ‘Sometimes they do that, you know.’)
Then there’s Mrs B. She’s VERY vocal and is usually calling out for help or for a nurse. When she gets too noisy one of the other ladies tells her to shut up, and she promptly shouts back, ‘Shut up yourself!’ I love to go and talk to her and try to cheer her up. One day she told me she was going to punch the other lady at the table. When I asked why she wanted to do that, she said that the lady was sticking her tongue out at her. So I took out two of Mum’s beautiful handmade bookmarks and gave one to each of the quarrelling ladies. That cheered them up no end.
The other day she was saying something loudly over and over again. I went out to see if she was okay and realised she was praying. “Oh God, help me to behave and be good.” Over and over. J And then sometimes she’d add, ‘And help me not to be so b—minded.’ J She’s fascinating to talk to. She knows a lot about horses. She used to exercise her father’s race horses on the beach, and drive the milk cart to the factory. She loves to sing. Whenever I take my guitar out into the lounge and have a sing along with them, she joins in enthusiastically and then gives me such applause and a ‘well done!’ after every song. Have I ever done more important concerts??
Today I only had a ukulele but we had such a fun time of singing. I had to stop when my damaged wrist hurt too much. My physio will tell me off on Thursday. I’m meant to be resting it for four weeks.
That’s just two of them! I really do love them. This is every bit as much a mission field for me as it was when I went to Borneo. They’re so lonely here. I’m sure they have children and family, but they must live in other towns because hardly any of them have visitors.
Yesterday two different ladies said something to me that really touched me:
One asked me where I was going. I told her, “Home to cook dinner for my children and my husband.’ Quick as a flash she said, “I wish I was cooking dinner for my husband.” Oh boy.
Then the other lady asked me how my day had gone. I told her it had been a busy one…she gave me a wistful look and said, ‘I wish I was busy.’
I thought a lot about that on the way home.
Well, if you’ve made it the end of this long post, congratulations. I’m just grateful that the Lord has put me in this place where I can share His love with these precious old people.