Early each morning a vessel of humanity would embark on a journey of which it would never tire.
The pilgrim glowed as he shuffled, radiating peace as he paced the corridor, shuffling from his doorway to that of his closest friend.
By the time I had come to know David Russell his eyesight had left him and his body was in reverse. He was enduring regular dialysis, his health was steadily deteriorating and yet his feet found the strength to shimmy to the bedside of his wife as she lay in bed several doors down. Suffering from advanced dementia, confused daily and frustrated constantly Marion was a puzzling question to which I had very few answers. …
Entering a room in which a man is close to death is not a pleasant experience.
All that I had been told about the man I was about to meet was that he was close to death, he had been aggressive towards female members of staff, and he had gone mad.
I wasn’t sure what a mad man looked like. I didn’t really want to if I’m honest.
As the youngest member of staff in the home and the only male member of the ‘entertainment team’ I had been sent to prevent Stephen Alexander from attempting to walk; apparently it was not only his mental capacities that had failed him but also his limbs. Upon entering his room I was confronted by a frail body and a gaunt face, a face that had written across it a delirious smile, or so I had been told. …
I rarely possess the capacity to describe the composition of a moment, the colour of curtains or the shape of clouds. Most of the time my mental images tend to fade, leaving behind only feelings or flavours.
Most of the time that is.
There are exceptions.
There is one moment in particular. A moment that occurred one afternoon in late spring as I called upon Graham Watt, a man who had come to live in the home he had once visited to check the health of its residents. …