So today when i got to the care home after a satisfying day of geeking out on bookkeeping, my love, not standing too crooked for a change, had been dancing to the Beatles.
It was pill time and everyone was clustered around the cart with lots of opinions and viewpoints on. .. well, whatever was in their heads at the time.
“Dancing?” said Don, focused on the floor as he did a little demonstration shuffle.
“Hi Don,” i waved in front of his face. It took a little while and then we had our usual joyous reunion. The one i mean as much as he does. The one that succours me.
After the stroking and hugging were over — “Look at this.” He proudly showed me a …toy… a kind of rattle-looking thing (my heart dropped) but also a kind of light. When you pushed the right button -a very tiny red button hard to find – a swirly light show started inside the globe.
It actually is a really cool thing. I loved it.
“You are such a sweet man,” I murmered, still under the influence of the hugging, but then cracked up when, shyly boasting, he said matter of factly, “well i’ve probably been like that all my life.”
He had gloamed on to this light thing this morning, the staff told me, and been very pleased with it all day long.
We went for a little walk down the hall and i asked, delighted – where did you get this?
“Well,” he said laughing, “I expect I stole it.”
The rest of the visit was just as lovely and at supper i handed him into the capable hands of a lovely lady who invited him to his table.
When i got home I remembered how he always insisted flashlights (and clocks) would be wonderful presents for his grandkids. And remembered how his finger pushed up reflexively to try to turn this new magic light on, as we did with our old flashlights.
Then i recalled how, about a year and a half ago, after his – no my! – first respite away, I unpacked his bag to find a remote control inside a sock. “Oh yes,” he said, grabbing it and smiling proudly, “I made this and brought it home for you. Look!” and beamed as he pushed and the light of the remote glowed from inside the sock.
An hour later, i remembered he grew up in the deep country, in a childhood populated by ghosts and little people. In dark nights. How fabulous the flashlight must have been, and now, in sweet grace, another magic light has brightened this diamond day.