Sunday, April 06, 2008

Pam and George

I'm not sure if i've mentioned this before, but i've unofficially adopted an old couple. Coming hot on the heels of my "Grandpa John" post this is going to sound like they're Grandparent surrogates. They're not.

The story began back around Xmas time. Mr G and I were out on long walk. We do a lot of walking and, as we live, reasonably close to the centre of London and so some beautiful parks, we use the weekend to go places on foot.

Anyway, about 5 minutes after leaving home, we passed an old lady struggling with heavy shopping. One bag suspended on a walking stick on wheels and the other in her hand. Mr G (who's actually much more thoughtful than me) turned to me and said should offer to help? We hummed and hah-ed for a minute or two and then went back to offer her some help. To our surprise, she wasn't scared and handed over the bags.

As we walked along we talked and she turned out to be bright and interesting. She does a crossword from one of our daily nationals and was asking us about the clues. She doesn't have internet - which we take for granted - and therefore no real way of finding out the answers other than in the next edition of that paper. I felt ashamed that i'd automatically judged her to be less intelligent because she's old. I think assumption that probably makes me less intelligent or, at least, ignorant.

She's married and her husband is housebound so she goes out when necessary. They do have someone who comes and does their main shop once a week though. She said her niece - who lives miles away - brings her the newspapers every so often, but in between she doesn't get it as it's too heavy for her to carry it home. I asked if she had children and she said no. An old woman living with her husband in a basement apartment in our suburb...she felt like the ghost of Christmas future....(We also live in a basement apartment)

We walked her to her door and she thanked us. We basked in a warm glow of having done something nice for someone.

I kept thinking how irritated i'd be to do a crossword and never know the answers, so I decided i'd take her a newspaper every Saturday - the edition she reads. First time I went back, it took ages to get in. Pam (for that was her name) and George, her husband, were delighted and happy for me to come back regularly. She only wants the paper every fortnight as she says there's too much for her to read otherwise. Sort of defeats the object on the crossword thing, but there you go.

Since then i've been back each fortnight. Sometimes I bake them stuff. Other times she gives me little gifts. I spend a little while with them - their apartment STINKS of cigarette smoke so I can't manage too long - and leave feeling really happy, if a little whiffy of smoke.

Such a small part of my life brings me a huge amount of joy, and, I hope, gives my old couple some pleasure too. I hope that doesn't sound sanctimonious.

pg stuff follows:

Life generally is fine. I've had some awful morning sickness - well, all day sickness really. No chucking up but just permanent feelings of sea or motion sickness. No complaints - it comforts me the passenger is on board. My GP found my haem.oglobin is low, so i'm now on iron tablets as well as my mega folic acid, steroid, multi-vits, dha/epa, B6 and daily aspirin. When super queazy i have to take them in yoghurt. I'm ok at this minute - which obviously then stresses a little that

Last scan with the clinic on Tuesday and i'll find out if more IV.Ig is on the cards. I'm starting to relax a bit and feel so immensely grateful for having got this far. Still anxious about getting to that magic 12 AND that the NT scan doesn't throw up any scary stuff, but at this point, every day is a miracle.


sarah23 said...

What a heart-warming story!! You and your husband are really thoughtful.

I'm glad that "the passenger" is continuing to thrive! :)

JJ said...

Awww, how incredibly sweet. It sounds like both of you really appreciate this special friendship.

Foreverhopeful said...

What a sweet story. I'm sure you've made such a difference in their lives.

And glad to hear everything is going well still.. :)

Nearlydawn said...

It is so wonderful to connect with cool old people. I feel like they give me something to shoot for in old age - like it doesn't have to be boring. :)

Oh, one tip on the iron pills - don't take them with calcium or they won't work well at all. The iron will bond with the calcium, per my OB, so it doesn't get absorbed. You will still get the side effect of constipation, just without the benefit of the iron.

You'll need to take them without your prenatals too - since they have mega calcium in them. I found that taking one in morn and one at night worked easier.

Hope that helps!

Bea said...

I think it's great you help them out like that. People should help each other out a bit more.

And glad everything else is going well.


Carrie said...

I love old people, they just know so much. What a nice relationship.