Tuesday, March 1, 2011

At that difficult age.

On many levels.
We spent a quiet weekend even though we had tossed around the idea of going somewhere,  possibly down to the Natural History Museum,   but when it came right down to it,  we gave it a pass.  I'm more or less content to stay at home,  and Travelling Companion gallivants about the continent enough in planes trains and auto-mobiles,  such that if she doesn't feel like heading out into the crowds,  I certainly don't argue.
I think that I might have mentioned on more than one occasion that I'm not really much of a "city boy"? You might also think that considering our present geographical location (something wrong with my syntax there,  but I can't be bothered)  that we should be "out there"  trying to take in as much as possible.  Therein lies the difference between being a tourist and actually living here.   We'll get to see whatever it is we want to see in due time,  and if we don't,  we don't.
I can live with that.
 The other aspect of the "difficult age"  has also to do with having the physical wherewithal to trudge around from venue to venue.   I try and make a point each morning to get out and hoof it a few kilometres to get the blood flowing and ward off the inevitability of increasing my girth,  but after twice climbing the six flights this morning,  the third time coming in meant giving in to taking the elevator.  After a few years running around on concrete in a couple different jobs over the last say,  thirty years?  parts of my chassis start to complain after about the second trip.   Not quite ready just yet for the dreaded hip replacement,  but I sure as heck can predict the weather with some accuracy.
I don't think I need to elaborate.
In addition to that,  Travelling Companion's knees are pretty much shot.  Something to do with playing ice hockey as a kid with zero protective equipment.   At least that's the theory.  We don't have new knees on order for her just yet either,  although that particular procedure couldn't come any time too soon.

 The other aspect of being at a difficult age has to do with the ageing and eventual demise of friends.
 Many years ago when I worked as an afternoon Caretaker in a school quite close to our Canadian home,  one would from time to time encounter members of the academic staff who hadn't quite bolted out the door with the rest of them,  and with whom one might happen to strike up a conversation.
It just so happens that I can muddle along in yet another language other than German,   and having spend a few days over the previous years supply teaching French Immersion,  it wasn't too much of a stretch that I should stop and chat with this one particular French teacher,  who was the Core French teacher for that particular school.   "Core French"  is what I would like to refer to as the "Dark Side" since,  instead of "French Immersion",  where the kids spend all their blissful hours at school using the French language,  "Core French"  is taught to those who are taking it because it has been mandated by the Ministry of Education.   Not so much bliss.
That is to say,  they really don't want to be there.
I eventually got sucked into the vortex of supply teaching Core French,  and I even supply taught grades seven and eight,  but that's a whole other horror story.  (Once those hormones kick in?   *shudder* )
This is why I refer to it as the "Dark Side",  and which is also the reason that I have such respect for anyone who is willing and able to do it.
So a friendship began.
 What further drew me to this person was that not long after working there,  and in the course of our almost daily chats,  she let it be known that not so many years before,  she had had a liver transplant.   She was always very stoic about it,  and felt that in spite of the burden of the serious physical drawbacks,  one of which was always being tired to the point of near collapse,  having the transplant was better than the alternative.

I had never until then met a person with that kind of courage.

On our trips home, since coming to Europe,  we try and get around to see as many friends and relatives as we can,  and there were times when she was just too tired to leave the house.  Happily we were able to see her along with a group of friends at Christmas.   

It breaks my heart to say this,  but we lost her on Sunday.   This was something that she knew would happen,  as did we all.  One never thinks though that it will happen so soon,  or that a visit can be one's last.

Now please forgive me while I briefly step up on my soap box.

It was only because somewhere,  someone signed an organ donor card that she was able to live as long as she did.
This is really something to consider.   By that I don't just mean signing some little card.
What I mean is, I would have never met her,  nor her husband,  with whom I've become good friends,  nor would his brother have met and then married one of their teacher friends. 
I'm sure the list could go on and on.   There's a whole series of gatherings,  laughter,  trips in the motorhome.....

All because someone signed an organ donor card.

It's something everyone should do.


1 comment:

  1. Bob: Today is the first time in over a month that I've read the Chronicles. Your comments about Susan re-activated the lachrymose ducts for the umpteenth time in recent weeks. It's not been lost on me that the last 15 years of my life were the result of one person signing his donor card when Susan was within 24 hours of losing her life. I will send the obit to you soon and you will see that we have encouraged everyone to sign their donor card.
    At the end of the month we will be hosting 'SusanFest', an afternoon where Susan's many friends can come together to tell stories just like yours. My thanks for such heartfelt emotion. Life does take some strange twists and turns.



Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.