Thursday, 6 October 2016

Even Lighter

A couple of miles East of Trelawnyd is Gyrn Castle

Pat the Animal helper and I went to visit Auntie Glad this afternoon.
It was ( and is) a sunny afternoon and the nursing home's chickens were out in force pecking around the grounds.
As usual Gladys was dressed neatly in a simple striped dress and matching earrings and as usual she was bright, active and chatty.
She took us to her room, which had a small photograph of herself on the door
" This is my home now" she said without the slightest hint of self pity " You just have to get on and enjoy things don't you?"
She was  vague and forgetful for sure , but her innate good humour shone through any possible sadness Pat and I were feeling.
This was how things were to be...plain and simple.In Gladys' book, you were grateful for everything

She remembered some who had visited her from the village and laughed when I asked if any of her congregation had seen her
" The vicar doesn't visit his flock" she said wryly " He doesn't do house calls"
We let her wander with her memories in between telling her of village news, and she enjoyed telling us of how she was a maid in the local big house of Gyrn Castle when she was a young woman.
" we had to be in for 10pm if we ever went out at night" Gladys recalled her eyes shining
And " Lady Bates would be waiting for us " Under the bacon " to check we got back on time"
" Under the bacon?" I asked " what does that mean?"
and Gladys explained that the joints of bacon were always hung in the hallway above the door. Hence Lady Bates was " under the bacon"
We stayed an hour of so, chatting and laughing and before we left Pat asked her if there was anything she wanted. In typical Gladys style she said " I just need a few jobs to do, I cannot be sitting down all day"
We promised to bring her some polish and dusters next time we came .
There wasn't a hint of sadness about this visit.
Both Pat and I remarked about it on the way home.

Gladys just isn't the sort


67 comments:

  1. I hope I can be that upbeat when I get put in "the home". As it is, I can get pretty cynical. The cynicism seems to amuse me, but graciousness would go a long way to endear me to my fate.

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  2. She is a love isnt she. I like her no point complaining attitude. Although do they not have a day room to spend time together? Maybe some dominoes and a pack of cards could help with her having something to do...?

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    1. Her eyesight is too poor now for that.I think

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  3. If I ever have to go into a home I hope I can be as accepting as Gladys ... she sounds a spirited lady. I wonder if her Ladyship would chuckle at being referred to as Lady Bates 'under the bacon' or would she see it as affront to her dignity :)

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  4. "...the nursing home's chickens..."
    Be still my heart! If I ever have to go to a home, please let there be chickens! I know I'll never be as cheerful or accepting as Auntie Glad but if there are chickens, I might survive. Thank you for this report.

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  5. News to lighten the heart a little, even though we - and she - know that there's a sad underlay. Thanks for the update.

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  6. Will that generation ever come back. I wonder. Go soon with dust cloths and polish.

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  7. What a great lady. Your idea about bringing polish and dusters is brilliant. Feeling useful instead of sitting and vegetating is a wonderful quality in this fine lady. And I think the term "under the bacon" should go into the lexicon. :)

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  8. Did she ask you about her little cottage this time, John?
    It sounds as though she has accepted her situation and that she will be there to stay.

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    1. She did mention it but didn't dwell

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  9. What a lovely person with a great attitude.
    I also want to live somewhere with chickens ! Maybe a dog and a cat.

    cheers, parsnip

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  10. Aunt Glad seems to be a part of my life as well as yours, John. I was delighted to read about the visit. She is one who could have written a book. I believe she has settled in to her new lot in life, it's kinda sad though.

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  11. I second raybeard; please keep us informed and let us know when we can send cards to auntie glad.

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  12. What an amazing and gracious lady. Could you maybe take her some brasses to polish another time? X

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  13. I see I didn't make your blog list. Any particular reason or is it that you don't read my blog anymore?

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    1. I do read it Sharon , there's plenty I haven't logged on my side bar yet!

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  14. Is it possible to take her out for a short excursion? Around the shops, Afternoon tea, a visit to a friend? Just for a change of scene.

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  15. I would like to be more like Aunt Glad ..

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    1. Are you ready for Matthew, the hurricane? Be safe, we are evacuating to Ocala with my 93 yr. old Mom. Wish she was more like Aunt Glad!

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    2. I will be hunkered down here in my daughters new condo.
      I would be quite happy if I was hunkered down with Aunt Glad.

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    3. and Thank you ! :)
      I hope I will be like Aunt Glad !

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  16. Aunty Glad has a big spirit. Jan has a good idea, a visit to have afternoon tea, or to see a favorite place. Visit her castle of the "under the bacon" memories?

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  17. What a wonderful woman she is. I hope you and the other villagers will be able to continue your visits.

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  18. Words like resolute, uncomplaining and pragmatic come to mind as Gladys continues to see the bright side of things.

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  19. Your visits will give her life the colour that a nursing home usually cannot provide, no matter how good it is. Please know what a kindness you are doing and keep it up.

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  20. I think there may also be a sense of relief that the day has finally come when she just had to relinquish living alone in her own cottage and make decisions for herself. However independent one is there comes a time when the effort to do this is just a little scary. When she is more settled and it is a nice day, would it be sensible to bring her back to the village for a drive round, and perhaps a cup of tea - or do you think that might upset her?

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    1. Her eye sight is so poor pat, that taking her anywhere would be OK, the trip would be the important thing .

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  21. Tried to post this on a previous post about Aunty Glad and failed ... I don't see this as sad, (especially if there are chickens!) it sounds like a wonderful nursing home. As I understood it, Auntie Glad hasn't been 'put' in a home, you said that her family said it would be her decision to stay or not. She can't see, she must be aware that her memory is failing, and she's clearly someone who has high standards which must have been hard to keep up. She's being well looked after, and perhaps it's a relief not to have to struggle any more. It's sad for the village, certainly, as her presence will be missed but I don't see this as a negative move. She's moved on to the next part of her life. Anyone who's tried to keep an elderly relative living at home - with carers who only call in for five minutes, long periods of them being alone and possibly not able to call for help - will know how hard it is. I'm sure you and others will keep visiting her and I'm glad to hear that she's settled in to her new home.

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  22. A happy one she is . . .

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  23. Chickens?! I'm glad to have that vision in my eyes now. It makes me not quite so worried that she is in a dreary place.
    God Bless her darling, cheerful heart.

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  24. I love Auntie Glad even more now because of her attitude! And the story about "under the bacon" is so cute! Glad you and Pat got to see her, John. xx

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  25. This is great news John. I think keeping busy will make her feel useful.

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  26. We can all learn a few thing from good old Auntie Glad. I hope when I'm that age I can be as grateful and graceful as she.

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    1. Agree wholehartedly with Theresa..well said. I hope I will be graceful but doubt being graceful enough to be grateful! Losing your indepenence due to getting older is a scary prospect. Daughters grandma-in-law was willingly placed in a nursing home 5 months ago. They have a policy that all residents use a walker..consequently she can no longer walk without one and this week has opted for a wheel chair..she was a capable lady going downhill fast..so sad to see. I hope Aunty Glad is in a better environment of care.

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    2. I think her genuine personality coupled with a slight vagueness has allowed her transition to be. Gentle one

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  27. Lovely report about Aunt Glad. Will continue to hope that all goes well for her and the adjustment process. And Chickens! What a wonderful idea!

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  28. I love her positive attitude! :-) I'm curious to know if she has any information on the gatehouse that we used to live in x

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    1. I will ask her Hannah , when Gladys worked there there were 9 female staff. Her sister was lady's maid to lady bates

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    2. Thanks! We did ask the grounds keeper but he didn't really know anything.

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  29. we should all be like that at her age!

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  30. i just had a thought!? do you think aunt glady would enjoy getting cards from all of us? i would love to send her a card with a note if it's acceptable?

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  31. How things have changed! These days there would be less maids in castles and the bacon would have to be in a cold store with plastic wrapping.

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  32. I was hoping you would post about Auntie Glad. It does sound like she is happy where she is and contented. My own mother in law is now in a nursing home and she seems happy with the routine and predictability. I do think the chickens would be a bonus to any nursing home! -Jenn

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  33. Thank you very much for this Auntie Glad updating. I will now always remember the expression Under the Bacon.

    Best wishes!

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  34. How about some audio books for Auntie Glad. In my area, volunteers record books and they are loaned free of charge to registered blind people. They are delivered and returned through the post. There is also an audio version of the local paper. Would she be allowed to do some baking for the other residents.

    I'm pleased Auntie Glad is settling in and I hope she is enjoying the company of the other residents and staff.

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    1. She loves the radio, her daughter is sorting one out for her

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  35. Auntie Glad has been an inspiration to all of us. Her approach to life has been consistent and has worked very well for her. We could all learn from her example. She will be fine.

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  36. We need to clone Aunty Glad a few 100 million times!

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  37. Thank you for letting us know that aunty Glad is settling in nicely, and seems by all accounts happy and content with her lot. They'll be no more of her generation, no complaining, just get on with it, make do, and be happy.
    She's a national treasure indeed.
    ~Jo

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  38. A fine lady through and through.

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  39. A fine lady through and through.

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  40. Gladys is a remarkable woman. A strong woman. So happy you and Pat went to visit. So happy for the news update.

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  41. I love her positive attitude. I am sure that it means so much to her to have you visit. You are a good friend and kind soul.

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  42. I think that's the worst thing about old folks homes, there's nothing to do other than sit around and watch the telly, I think most people must die of boredom. Maybe they should issue all the 'inmates' (that are capable) with feather dusters and let them 'help' with the general upkeep of the place. If they want to that is, of course.

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  44. I wish had just fraction of her strength and resilience, she really is a remarkable lady, we could all learn a great deal from...and probably do thanks to your blog.

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  45. As the title of your blog, Auntie Gladys is "going gently". Such a lovely lady. Thanks for sharing her with us.

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  46. Acceptance becomes easier as we grow older. Aunts Glad may be fragile in body, but a class act in spirit.

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  47. If you would permit it, I would love to send her a sunshiny card from the US. I'd need the address etc. carlnepa@yahoo.com She reminds me of my mother, except that Mom wanted to go home for the longest time until she withdrew into herself with the dementia. At the VA hospital on Sundays, I've learned to do whatever I can at that moment. I listen to stories of yesterday, today and tomorrow, and I do what I can today. I truly love and care for all the patients, whatever their situation. I always remember that I am privileged to know them, not vice versa.

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  48. I don't want to judge, but the vicar apparently takes the high road whilst you take the low road, and I am certain you will be in Scotland afore him.

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  49. Oh to the have that temperament and view of life. I had an aunt who died in a nursing home at the age of 98. She was bed-ridden for the last year and still smiled and enjoyed every waking minute, talking with gratitude about everyone and everything. She lived there for four years and the staff called her their one-woman sunshine committee. These women are an inspiration.

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  50. Oh gosh .... she is just a treasure.

    I'm so glad so many people have met her through your blog, she deserves to be known and written about, such a special lady. And I'm also glad that I met her in person, thanks to the flower show :-)

    She will love the gift of some polish and dusters, and perhaps a John Grey scone or two.

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  51. Pleased she is being happy.

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  52. So pleased she has accepted her new life, bless Aunty Glad xx

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  53. Hi John, your kindness is amazing. I finally managed to get my father into a nursing home and he hated it. He only lasted 8 weeks and passed away 2 weeks ago. My heart is broken and I'm wracked with guilt. Best wishes to the delightful Gladys, I hope she manages. xx

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