Saturday, 12 February 2011

Sunday Scribblings and Monday Memories

Yep late late late again, but the mood has taken me,( after reading around some of the other blogs I visit), to write. So late for both "Sunday Scribblings" of last week and also for "Monday Memories", here is a story.
Both of these great prompt sites are on my favorite reads side bar, click on the links to go have a read.
I wanted to share a view of a man I remember, names changed of course. Though he is gone now I believe.
His name can be Trevor, for this story.
Trevor was in the nursing home side of the hospital I worked in, a long term patient, which usually meant that he was there to be looked after until he was no more. He was a minister of religion and due to alcohol related disease still thought that he was. He would minister to the other patients and staff and pretend that that was his job. He believed it was. He was a strange mixture, showing himself straight and upright, but when you went around the corner and he believed you out of sight and earshot he would cry for his mother like a baby and fall into his own personal hell. A hell be-known only to himself for he chose not to share it with us.
Trevor was an educated man and his room was filled with books of different types from novels to poetry, philosophy and religion. In fact it was quite a cluttered mess, paper every where in all forms. A real pain to do the bi-weekly dust and clean in there and the daily vacuum as things were placed in piles on each flat surface and every corner of the floor and he didn't like them disturbed. Supposedly because he knew where to find his things that way. He barely had room to get around them and settle his large frame into the lounge chair in the corner.
But they were his.
I remember his ex wife, they were long separated and I only saw her visit twice in the time he was with us. She was a real old tartar, but due to circumstance I am sure she had lots of her own stories to tell. They had two sons, one of which was estranged from his father, the other of which Trevor thought very highly had been brain damaged in a car accident many years earlier. Trevor spoke of him often and of the horrible phone call he received from the hospital when the accident occurred. Of how he was reluctant and traveled slowly, hesitantly, to the hospital where his son lay horribly injured, afraid to see and learn of the extent of his injury. He visited his father often and we could see that he must have been an intelligent boy before his accident. He was able to calm and reason with his father where others failed and they would talk literature together. Trevor could become violent, not so much physically but verbally though capability of the physical was not beyond him.
The patient across the hall from him had a running battle with Trevor. They hated each other with a passion but neither of them was willing to be moved to another ward as that would have been giving in. No there was no way either would do that. So (lets call him Harry) would sit in his doorway and glare at Trevor until Trevor either got up and walked out to the dining room or got so annoyed that he would threaten Harry and call him names. It was obvious to the staff that they enjoyed themselves. It was quite funny really, these two old guys, showing their aggression and neither willing to concede to the other. Trevor called Harry "The cockatoo". It is an Aussie saying meaning "The lookout" or sticky beak and Harry would antagonise Trevor by being the quintessential. Cockatoos always post a bird as lookout to warn the other birds of danger while they feed on the ground, and to the call, they all take off and away to safety. Hahaha.
Trevor had a very good appetite but always complained about the hospital food as a matter of course. Though he always ate everything given to him. I can still remember his coffee, made black with two sugars from my many rounds with the tea trolley. I liked him he was quite the character and a good man despite his outbursts which were attributed to his condition. It was sad to see a man like him in that state. He wasn't as great an age of some of the other patients.
We used to say about the patients we cared for, "If you don't laugh, you would cry".
Trevor I am pleased to say was one of the lucky people who left our care via the front door rather than the back door. He was with us for over a year and was transferred to another facility on the coast. He left in high spirits and with anticipation of a nicer place to stay with a view of the ocean.
I hope he found it.
Love Linda.


JTS said...

I'm running way behind on my stories too this week, Linda, but i figure a good story is a good story no matter when you share it! That's why there are no deadlines on Memories on Mondays or Write A Letter Wednesdays! When I was in my early twenties I worked as an aide in a small nursing home. It was a dreary and underfunded place, but the residents made it come alive with their stories, humor, and the grace they so often showed in the face of aging. I loved them like family, and it sounds like you did too. Trevor sounds like quite a character who I'm sure gave you all much to talk about! I hope he got that room with an ocean view too! Thanks for sharing your story for Memories on Mondays, I appreciate your participation!

JTS said...

Hmmmm, I think I like the sound of Monday Memories better than Memories on Mondays and I am going to change it to just that! Than's for the inspiration!! :-)