Thursday, 12 July 2007

Creating Memories

Today, our elderly neighbour asked for our help as her husband had collapsed. We immediately went over there and Steve asked me to call an ambulance after clearly seeing that he'd had a stroke. I looked after the wife while Steve did what he could to get her husband comfortable. Being ex-military, Steve knew enough First Aid to get the situation under control before the paramedics arrived.

This elderly couple are in their eighties. We see them every day. Our office, at home, faces out the front so we see the comings and goings of our neighbours. We watch them go shopping, visit family and tend to their garden. Both are very sprightly and look so well for a couple in their eighties. In fact, I was surprised to hear they were that old. I honestly thought they were in their seventies.

Anyway, to see him collapsed like that was quite a shock to me. Not long before he collapsed, he'd been outside pruning the roses. His wife was calm enough but visibly shocked and suddenly seemed extremely vulnerable and frail. I talked to her and kept her focused and as reassured as I could until the paramedics arrived. I told her how Steve and I have watched them many times and hoped that we would be like that in our old age. And it's true. There was something very endearing about this elderly couple. So sweet. So together and clearly love each other so much.

I realised as I talked to her and listened to her talk about her husband that the love we feel for our spouses doesn't really change just because our bodies do. It was obvious to me she loved her husband as much now as the day they married. Simple. Our emotions (no matter what they are), spirit and essence of who we are remains the same. Our bodies grow old and die. It was so enlightening to me. I realised at that point that I really am going to get old and one day die. But the love I feel inside of me for my nearest and dearest will always be there.

Steve felt the same. Today's experience really deeply affected us both. We worked for the rest of the day but every now and then talked about them. Steve said the hallway upstairs (where our neighbour collapsed) was full of photographs, of memories. Their home was so homely and you could feel the love between them in their home. It's so hard to explain. It was there.

Steve and I talked about how important it is to us that we live each day to the full. To really love each other and try to keep short accounts. To make great memories so when we reach our old age we can look back and know that we did all we could to love each other and our family and friends to the very best of our abilities. That we created wonderful memories for each other and the children/grandchildren.

Our neighbour is doing well. He's in hospital now and his wife gave us a little thank you card earlier on this evening. We were both so touched that she would even think of us during such a hard time. It had to have been a long day for her and traumatic. And yet she took a few moments to write a thank you note.

I'm going to get old. I'm going to one day, die. In the meantime, I'm going to love my husband and my family dearly. I'm going to do all I can to cherish them and create wonderful memories.

At this point in time, I really understand and appreciate the real meaning of scrapbooking.


Sarebear said...

Wow. I just got all tingle-y when I read that.

I hope he continues to do well. Thoughts and prayers for he and his wife.

I'd like to be like them when I'm older, as well. I realized as I typed that, that I should type older, and not old. Just "old" implies that it's a destination, a static place.

Thanks for the perspective.

lyzzydee said...

I hope he continues to do well, how nice to have fantasic neighbours, you are good for each other!

hillychris said...

That's what you call 'Good neighbours', well done makes you feel proud when you stand up and are counted. Sounds like all is well with you and work. Keep it up and I hope the bug has cleared by now. xx