Sunday September 17, 2006
Graham’s mother seems to get smaller everytime I see her. The spirit is as large and vigorous as ever but the body appears to be shrinking as it does with so many old folks. I get a strong impression that in spite of Graham spending all the time with her that he can she’s not enjoyed her holiday, feeling alone and lonely. She loved staying at the holiday camp when her husband was alive but now, at last, I think she’s finding solo holidays simply too lonely. She puts a brave face on it but even so…
Graham, on the other hand, is finding as the season comes to an end that he’s had enough of people to see him all the way through the winter. And loud music. The relief he showed as we came back to our quiet, civilised home very late tonight spoke more than words could ever do.
Wouldn’t it be good if you could come straight out and tell people what they should do? Instead, I keep my counsel to myself and stand by as events play themselves out. No matter how close you may be, unsolicited advice is seldom welcomed. Or deserved. It may be the case that closeness makes the giving of advice more difficult rather than the opposite. Knowing when to speak and when to keep silent is one of the keys to a happy, durable relationship.
Hey ho. It’ll all come out in the wash, as my own mother used to say.
“I hope you’re not going to try to do anything tomorrow,” I said as Graham collapsed into his chair. “You look as if you could do with a good feet-up session.”
“That’s my thinking, too. I’ll put your new chair together but other than that I’ll leave it all wait until Wednesday.”
“Good. And if you’re not feeling recharged by then it can all wait a little longer still. We have the full winter ahead of us. Plenty of time to get things done then.”
“That sounds good.”