Tag Archives: old age

2033. Trudy knew

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Inese of Making Memories. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, please leave your suggestion in the comments – only one suggestion per person!)

Trudy knew better than to be alone with Mr Hughes. No, he wasn’t one of those. Nor was he one of those.

Trudy and Mr Hughes went way back. She had always called him Mr Hughes, even though they were roughly the same age and had been neighbours for a long time. These days he had retired, as had Trudy, but his cognitive processes were more than slightly on the wane. Trudy leaned towards kindness, but it was disconcerting that in his dotage Mr Hughes was calling on her nearly every day, and sometimes twice a day.

Throughout the years Trudy never knew what Mr Hughes did. She had asked but he would never really say. He tried once to explain that he worked as a “handyman”, but where and how he did so was never properly explained.

Now in his current state Trudy found out; he had been a spy working for the police department. His job was simply to suss out the burglars, and tax avoiders, and bigamists, and so on.  Did Trudy want to know about the Chesterton Family down the road? Possibly not, but she got a blow by blow account nonetheless. And the Browns. And the Archers. And the Cuthbert household. The list and narratives of private information went on and on.

Then things got worse. He had spent some time in the secret service and started to tell Trudy some highly scary political things. Not only did Trudy not want to know, but she was frightened to know. Knowledge of such things can put one in danger. Trudy informed the police.

Some people came and took Mr Hughes away. It was a sad tragedy several days later when Mr Hughes fell off his roof while cleaning the spouting.

“But he wasn’t even home,” observed Trudy.

It wasn’t long before Trudy herself was visited by the same people who had taken Mr Hughes away.

1690. Lovely little old lady

Bernice was a lovely little old lady who drove around in a beat-up old car and lived in a cosy bungalow with a cottage garden and a sausage dog. She was always pleasant – some would say delightful – and hence would be invited to gatherings here and there whenever a celebration was called for. For example, the local school always invited her to their Christmas party (not that they called it a Christmas party) simply because she was delightful company.

Bernice had a saying if anyone asked her age: “Quite frankly, I can’t afford to die.” It was true that the cost of dying had rocketed into the stratosphere in recent years. There was the coffin and the funeral and the hearse and the flowers and the… Would it never end?

Well, afford it or not, Bernice passed away. Her will requested a simple funeral, the sausage dog got looked after, and the school got to build a new gymnasium.

1435. Demise of a film star

The legendary film star, Fortescue Langworthy, has died aged 97. What an icon!

Two years ago he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Two months back he was diagnosed with bowel cancer and has been receiving experimental treatment in Mexico. He had just returned from Mexico when he came down with pneumonia.

The family have asked for privacy at this sad time.

The cause of death is unknown.

1088. Woman in the park

Hello. Did I ever tell you? A few years ago I had the perfect household: five dogs, eight cats, and two humans. I had two border collies, a corgi, a schnauzer, and a chihuahua. The corgi thought it was a cat. It used to look after the baby kittens. Even lick them. The mother cat didn’t mind because she thought the corgi was a cat too.

When I married for a second time, quite late in life, my husband was off a farm and he had never had a pet dog, and that’s why I got him the two border collies. He adored them. These days it can get quite lonely without all these friends. That’s why I come for a walk in the park. What is your dog’s name?

Hello. Did I ever tell you? A few years ago I had the perfect household: five dogs, eight cats, and two humans. I had two border collies, a corgi, a schnauzer, and a chihuahua. The corgi thought it was a cat. It used to look after the baby kittens. Even lick them. The mother cat didn’t mind because she thought the corgi was a cat too.

When I married for a second time, quite late in life, my husband was off a farm and he had never had a pet dog, and that’s why I got him the two border collies. He adored them. These days it can get quite lonely without all these friends. That’s why I come for a walk in the park. What is your dog’s name?

Hello. Did I ever tell you…

107. Trash

107trash

Marcia’s lounge window looked over the street. There was a street lamp there, and next to it was a trash can. Every day Marcia watched this old man go through the trash.

He would take out all the trash, bit by bit, and carefully arrange pieces according to type. Ice cream wrappers were placed in a separate pile, as were screwed up cigarette packets. Chicken bones and waste food were heaped together.

When all was done, he would carefully return them to the trash can, sorted and orderly. Marcia knew he arranged the rest of the trash along the street. She had seen him.

He wasn’t hungry. He’d never ate the scraps. It was simply that he was old, obsessively orderly, and was suffering from dementia.

When the old man died, Marcia was at his funeral. She spoke.

“I want to thank everyone who saw this old man, in the last few years, sort the trash along the street. Although he was strange, you never made fun of him, but always treated him with kindness and respect. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and humanity. Even though he was old and different, he was still my father, and I loved him.”

41. Yesterday I Turned 88

41bed

Yesterday I turned 88, which is not that old for a lady, and it’s such a crying shame that I had to spend my birthday in a hospital bed. Two weeks ago they put me in hospital for observation. I’m not sure what bits of me they’re observing, but I hope to get home soon because they’ve probably seen enough of me.

I got given a transistor radio for my birthday, from a darling great-niece. She’s such a sweetie. I had told her that I had nothing to listen to in here, and so she gave me a transistor radio. It’s amazing: today’s technology, isn’t it? I’m feeling quite up-to-date!

Let me tell you what happened. The lady in the bed next to me has her own transistor radio, and she played it all week with her head phones on. And I asked her if she would like to pull the head phones out so I could listen to it too. But she said, no, it was her radio, and she got pleasure listening to it on her own.

Then, the other day she wasn’t listening to it, and I asked if I could borrow it while she dozed, and again she said no. I was disappointed because it was Sunday and I like to pray along with the hymns being sung. Especially now as I can’t get to church. And I’m partially blind.

So it is simply lovely to have my own transistor radio. It’s company for me in my lonely hospital bed. (I don’t have much family left alive you see. Just my great-niece. And the lady in the bed next to me, as you now know, is very unsociable.)

Well, let me tell you. This morning the lady in the bed next to me — the batteries in her transistor radio went flat. And she asked if she could borrow mine.

Naturally, I told her she could stick her batteries where the sun don’t shine.