On the Pulse bus, on my way into town, I meet Pat. We used to sit on the same Committee together some while ago but since she left we only see each when we happen to catch the same bus, either into town or back again.
I am going to town to take Mr B’s birthday hat back to the shop where I bought it and, hopefully, find him another. The hat I chose, with such care and thought, was
much too small, even though it was the largest size I could find. It perched on top of Mr B’s head like a small rodent - think hamster, perhaps - and didn’t come anywhere near covering his ears. And you know, don’t you, that there’s
few things so depressing as chilly ears.
Pat is off on a far more noble mission. She is spending the afternoon at a local care home for dementia patients
where she is planning to enjoy a game of Trivial Pursuit with a small group of keen Pursuiters. Interestingly she informs me that the patients with dementia are well up for Trivial Pursuit while any visitors, dementia-free, tend not to be. I wonder aloud if
this is because the visitors will stress later about all the wrong answers they came up with while the patients will just enjoy the moment and then let it slip away. Just a thought.
I tell Pat about the Youngest of the Darling Daughters who loves most board games but hates Trivial Pursuit with a passion. I remember when she was a child, if anyone suggested we should play this particular game I would catch sight of her anguished
face pleading silently with me across the room, willing me to organise a Strategic Diversion on the lines of: “Oh, I’d much rather play Sorry / Boggle / Game Of Life…” It was a plea I could never ignore.
We then have an interesting discussion about the power of holding hands: Pat had been trying to persuade the daughter of an elderly patient to hold her mother’s hand but she was somewhat timid.
We are, of course, talking about the daughter here, not Pat. Pat is not the Timid Type, oh dear me, no. Possibly, faced with Pat wanting me to hold hands even with one of my nearest and dearest, I might have demurred.
Though maybe not. A few months back I was undergoing day surgery on my eye-lid. I was last on the surgeon’s list and it seemed a very long and anxious few hours waiting for my turn centre-stage
so to speak. At long last I was kitted out in a fetching hospital gown and seated in the chair which would shortly wheel me into the operating theatre, while a nurse fussed about putting drops in my eye. Silently the Eldest of the Darling Daughters,
who had accompanied me on my “theatre date”, took my hand in hers. It was quite the most comforting of loving gestures and even now, as I remember, I feel quite teary at the thought of it.
Never under-estimate the power of simply holding hands.