Saturday, 24 May 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Memory on the Menu

Which good memories are better — the recent and vivid ones, or those that time has covered in a sweet haze?

Over the clouds

How can you analyse memories? Life is full of memories, some fade and some remain. They are similar to the clouds that swim above our heads, drifting and moving on, some form mountains, some are small hills and some just lay flat waiting to arise. This is all very philosophical but so are the memories.

I have a few vivid memories of the early days, streets flattened by bombs, remains of old houses dotted around the sites saying “I was built, housed a family, and now I am no longer”. The house memories are the reminders of what we saw. Playing children amongst the rubble of a time gone, but I remember it well. Some might say they were the bad memories, better forgotten but I say no, they are there to perhaps remind us not to do it again, but we will.

Happy times, parties at Christmas, visits to relations, holidays at the sea with the family: all part of the past, never to be recovered and we were all in the prime of life. No grey hair, no aches and pains and our faces radiated with youth. Oh to be back in the good old days. Were they good, perhaps not, but the memories are good.

We move on, we now have smartphones, televisions computers. I often wonder what will be the memories of my children, will they laugh when they see the primitive apparatus we had and remember how it used to be.

Today I had a problem. My father is 98 years old, lives in a good place, is cared for and has everything under control. He is not in my country and I only have contact by telephone. I am his constant memory of his only child. He had an accident two days ago, nothing serious, but during the night he fell. The ambulance took him to the hospital and discovered no injuries, but the heart was no longer as strong as it should be. Yesterday he received a pacemaker. Try to explain to a 98 year old man what they have done. I had no possibility of talking to him, English hospitals do not have telephones in the rooms and I have to rely on my friend who visited him today with her mobile phone. I could speak to him. My father is full of memories of the place where he now has an apartment, people who care for him, a kitchen, and above all a telephone.

I spoke to a very confused elderly man. He was taken to another hospital by ambulance to have the pacemaker fitted and is now in the local hospital. The memory of the pacemaker being fitted has shocked him. I do not think he knows what has really happened. My friend was visiting him and took her mobile phone so that I could at least talk to him. He has never used a mobile phone, but we managed to talk. He tells me he no longer has a phone in his room, they have taken it away. I told him he is now in the hospital but in a couple of days he will be back in his flat and his phone will be there with everything else. I spoke to the nurse on duty at the hospital and explained that I am speaking to a very confused father. She reassured me she will talk to him and explain clearly that this is only temporary.

Otherwise he is OK, no symptoms of a serious illness and he has been told that he will probably have lesser problems with movement with this pacemaker. How can a 98 year old understand that the pacemaker is helping his heart to beat, he just has memories of an unpleasant interference in his body. I have a very worried father and at the moment he has a very worried daughter. It is just a matter of time, perhaps only a couple of days and everything will be OK again. I hope so, some memories can become very bitter. My father clings on to the memories of his home where everything runs to his normal plan.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pat!! I've been away for a few days visiting my parents and then Baz, so haven't been online very much. Very sorry to hear about your dad. I can understand it must be a very confusing and worrying time for him.....a worrying time for you, too, being so far away from him. I do hope he is able to return home and resume as normal a life as possible quite quickly.