Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The great paradox

It was blowing a gale today.  And there was a little rain that fell, but hardly enough to do much soaking of the ground.  It was too windy to go rowing, so I went to see my father-in-law at the physical rehab facility.

He is doing about three hours of exercise a day, including cycling, elliptical trainer, and weight lifting.  He looks great--better than I have seen him look in a long time.  Today, he went with his physical therapist to Starbuck's to get coffee.  He seemed to have really enjoyed his day.  He is hoping to be out before Christmas.

I really feel for the people who are in the rehab facility.  Most are alone in their room.  Few have visitors.  I passed through the dining room this evening, only to see a little old lady sitting all alone.  It made me realize how sad old age can be, how isolating it is to sit without a loved one around.  I am going to visit with some of the people the next time I go there, if only for a little while.

Not much else is going on here. Tomorrow there is a Christmas party to attend.  I used to dread parties.  The ones that I go to now are not big drinking affairs.  In fact, people drink normally or not at all.  And everyone goes home by ten. It's comforting to attend parties where no one gets out of control.  It surely has been a pleasant change from the wild parties that we used to attend. I don't know why  I even went to some of those, except to watch over C.  And that didn't usually work out too well.

We are going to have a big cooking extravaganza in the days ahead to make cranberry relish, cranberry nut bread, peppermint bark, pepper jelly and some cookies as gifts for friends.  I also ordered a few small gifts for C.  I simply couldn't stand to see any look of disappointment on her face on Christmas morning.  I still want to protect her, even though I know that I can't.

Well, that's about it from here.  Time for some sleep.

It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox. ~Nicolas Sparks


  1. Your post and photo have rekindled a call to begin visiting residents at a local nursing home. I have time, and I am a kind person as Alanon folks tend to be, and I know that isolated folks need moments of kind attention. I do expect to leave each visit, however, as the one more rewarded for the privilege. Anyway... thank you...

    As a side note. I noticed your new header photo a few days ago. And like it very much. Only tonight however, was I struck by the contrast between the water in the background and the water in the foreground, before and behind the boater(you?). The surface, the color, and rhythm, and direction... are all different. (I was a river rat the two past summers.) Point being: Alanon talks a lot about choices, and your photo tells me that what I do or don't do makes a difference: to me or others, good or bad, now and later, whether in body or in spirit. What difference, is up to me.

  2. You have a kind heart Syd -- many of the elderly and housebound in this village are lonely and often too shy to come to tea parties or community activities. It is hard to know how to reach out without hurting their pride. But just a little company and warmth can go a long way.

    Those homemade gifts sound beautiful.

  3. My husband and I were not going to exchange presents, but I can see by the credit card bills he is buying me a few things. I have to buy him a few things. That's how it starts!!

  4. Bless you for your thoughts about visitng some of the old folks.
    My 3 year experience with my Mom in a nursing facility was really an eye-opener. I found myself getting to know many of her neighbors by name. It was always a joy to see them and have a little fun with them.

  5. No hoopla at all for me...I can sit for months in silence and alone or with someone who wants either silence or talk. *shrug* Silence is a gift in this place from the infinite.

  6. Syd, I know what you mean about folks in rehab facilities. My dad is 76 with Parkinson's and we had to move him to a facility for him to have extra help. It is hard to watch the ones you love deal with their physical bodies age.

  7. Oh Syd- A week ago, would you have thought that this is where your father-in-law would be now?
    Well, all sounds good. We had the same weather but it's beautiful and cold today.
    I want some peppermint bark!

  8. I have been focused on the children this Christmas season. The children without much, in the way of gifts, food, care... You remind me of the elderly. They need our attention, as well. Syd, you never fail to inspire me. :)

  9. i feel for those that are alone in homes and such...i used to visit far more often just to love on them..i need to get back to that some...

    have fun cooking...i know she will appreciate those gifts...

  10. walking here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =D

    Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

  11. there would have been a time where I would have been the guy that was out of control.I am so glad those days are behind me.

  12. It sounds like a bunch of delicious goodies you are going to be making!

    I have a soft spot in my heart for older adults. They have so much experience to share and usually hope and love to give if I slow down to see it and accept it. I agree, silence is pure. Also is a true blessing when I can sit with silence and content in my heart and mind.

  13. My first job was in a nursing home (they called them that then) as a candy-striper. If I were honest, I think that planted a fear of old age in me. I am working on getting over it as I am getting closer to it.

    When my dad was in a nursing home, I first got the idea to work in healthcare, and the rest of THAT is history. I loved the old folks on the Alzheimer's wing.

    Your Christmas sounds wonderful.

  14. One of my dearest friends lives in a nursing home and I feel his loneliness as we chat to each other. We are a country away from each other and it upsets me so much to know I can't sit with him and enjoy his company.
    He has one of the most brilliant minds I have ever known and it's sad he doesn't get to share that wisdom he has with others around him.
    The loneliness is devastating, I would imagine.


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.