Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Everyone Needs A Helping Hand Sometimes.

Hello My Lovelies,

How have you all been, well I hope. I will come and visit you all soon I promise.
I've been a little busy, as you know we moved house and after having such hateful neighbours it has been a joy to move somewhere where there is still a community that want to be nice, get to know you and help each other.

Two doors down from us, is an elderly couple called Jean and David. Jean is 76 and David is 84, now I know it isn't polite to discuss people's age and I would normally refrain from doing so, especially where a lady is concerned, but I do have my reasons for this so please bear with my tardiness over this.

They are a wonderful couple and have in fact been together longer than I have been on the Planet. Just to balance things I am 48. They have lived two doors down from us for 34yrs and are well known in the area.

I first met Jean when we moved in and although it was September, it was still rather warm. Now I'm not sure if I have told you this, but we actually live above the shops in the High Street. This means that we have a little patio out the front of the flat like a roof garden (which is a two story flat, go figure) and in order to get to our flats we have to climb a lot of stairs and go along a walk-way. This means that we are very sheltered and it's a bit of a sun trap and we met Jean one day on the walk-way.

To me it was obvious that she was either suffering from alzheimer's or dementia but then I had come across it before, as I use to do voluntary work in an old folks home, where they specialised in alzheimer patients. Anyway we as a family went on to make friends with them both and it turns out that while Jean normally likes nobody she has taken a liking to me that David and Jean's sister say they have never seen before.

I have to say that I adore Jean, she is lost in her own bubble and you only get the occasional glimpse of the woman she must have been. It's sad really , as up until she was 71 Jean worked and ran a very, very busy estate agents. In fact the very people we rent off of. Small world or what.
Once she retired; Jean just seemed to have slipped away as David once put it.

I think Jean sees me as a kindred spirit and although she is locked away from the real world it doesn't make her silly. I make her laugh and when she is babbling away about nothing on this Earth I act as if she is telling me the most interesting or funny story. My love of History, especially social history is coming in very handy.

David himself is a remarkable man and it amazes me how he gets on with it all. Cooking , cleaning although David will tell you that he's not that good at the cleaning side of it all.. Basically he does everything for Jean and I do mean everything. There must be times when he is down or when it all gets too much for him, but you never see it.

Since Jean is very happy with me on Thursday evenings I look after Jean so that David can go out to a club where there are other people who have partners with alzheimer's, it's only for 3hours, but David gets a lot out of it and I enjoy my time with Jean.

Last week however David hurt himself rather badly and as a result had to go into hospital for surgery and myself and "E" (my sister) decided with David that instead of Jean going into a care home for the week that we would take care of Jean. Jean has been into care before and came out in a terrible state, so he was reluctant to put her back into care for such a short period.

Oh my gosh!!! We knew it would be hard but this has to be one of the hardest things I have ever done before. I have never shied away from hard work before, but this was something else.
I have no idea how David copes 24/7 with Jean. There was 2 of us and we are half his age. Jean lead us on a merry dance the likes of which I have never been on before.

I have to say that it has to be pure love and devotion that must get him through the week. There was times when we were climbing the walls. I have to take my hat off to David and to anyone who takes care of a loved one with this condition.

For her part Jean is very happy. Locked away in her own little world. She dances and sings, sometimes she cries. But mostly she is just repeating things or saying things over and over and over. She's a lovely lady and I think the world of her, but I hope that I never have to look after her for that amount of time again.

As for David, well he is doing really well, but then he was in excellent health, so it is to be expected that he would recover quickly. And of course we continue to help as much as we can.

On another note I would like to ask all of you to take a look at the plight of this woman. HERE

Now I'm not saying that she did the right thing; however I do believe that the punishment should match the crime. Really what was her crime, the fact that she wanted to do better and have better for her children...oh me! oh my! if that were the case, the prisons around the World would be full to bursting. How many of you could say that you might not actually be in one? lol.

I would if I could sign it, however you can only do it if you have ZIP CODE, which is like the British postcode for America and I so obviously don't have one of them.
If you have American followers on your blog would you be so kind as to just do as I have done and pass it on. In fact I actually got this from one of my American friends.

Like I said, I don't think what she did was right, but there is nothing I wouldn't have done or would not do for the futures of my children. And I really get why she did it. I just really feel that this is too harsh, considering she just wanted the best for her children.

I guess I should confess that when we moved house there was the possibility of Ashley having to move schools. As he was in his last couple of years there we kept quiet about it. Lucky we knew the people who had moved into our old house (I'm not talking about the house we just sold but the one before that) and they kept our secret. Now fast forward to Callum going to secondary school (high school) and the choices in our area were bad. Callum is a bright boy and deserves the best, by then we were firm friends with the people in our old house and when the latter came to say did I want him to go to his brothers old school or a different one, I didn't hesitate and the people in our old house backed me up. We got him into the school waited a until he was at exam stage and then said we were moving to our last house and that we were worried about his education and moving him at that stage...the school let him stay as they have to have 5% of kids out of the catchment area. As you know Callum did well and yes I did wrong. But seriously I'd set myself on fire if I thought it would be good for his future.
The only way for kids from poor families to improve thier lives is through education and Callum is now headed for University, so I while I was wrong, I know I did the best for my boy.

Much Love


  1. Dear Lia,
    Your neighbours sound a lovely couple and, it's not until we get involved that we realise just what someone like David has to deal with on a daily basis, 24/7. It's so lovely that you give him some respite and I am sure that he really enjoys those few hours. We can get so much from our elders. I find them so interesting and enlightening, even when they have alzheimers. You should feel very proud , helping them out.
    ....and, many, many thanks for your lovely comment and birthday wishes.....and, I'm still celebrating !! XXXX

  2. Agree that it was a wonderful thing you did for your neighbor!
    As for the lady in Ohio, where I can see why she did it, I think when she got caught and had others lie for her was her undoing. Thing to is in Ohio, they do have vouchers for those who are in poorer schools to take their children to better schools. Not sure why she didn't use hers?

  3. You're a sweetheart for befriending your neighbor who has Alzheimer's Disease. Obviously she feels the love that flows from you and thus is comfortable in your presence.

    Caregivers must do the impossible when they care for those with that disease.

    I went to the website and sent the letter to support the woman in Ohio. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to voice my opinion.

    Take care, Lia.

  4. I'm good with kiddos--big and little. I'm not so good with the elderly....and I respect the heck out of anyone that is. I'm sure it's a fear deal on my part--something I need to get in order, no doubt. But I am proud for you.....and glad you can be of service to the neighbor. That's way cool.

    And if you want an opinion (and even if you don't.....LOL)I think you did right by your son. I'm proud of you and your educational system for letting you chase what you believed was 'right' for your kiddo. I'm NOT so proud of ours after reading that link....OMG......Lemme at 'em!!!!!!

  5. Whoo hoo I've found you again. How lovely to see you back here. Sounds as if you've got your hands full with with all the stuff you have going on and Franks' still here to boot, lovely!

  6. It was a wonderful thing you did for your neighbor! That's way cool.

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