Getting old is not easy, and for some it is a cause of deep depression. As I approach Maud's door, my heart is apt to sink. What am I going to find? Before I arrive I have to get through a barricade of odd pieces of wood, and the back door stands ajar because it has warped and cannot be closed properly. Maud kept pigeons, dogs, cats etc and her outhouses are piled up with junk. She never throws anything away.
When I manage to attract her attention... there is no bell or knocker... she clears a space on the one chair for me to sit down. Maud is deaf and has lost her memory, but she is fiercely independent. Most of the caring professions have given up on her. The co-ordinator of the scheme I work for told me many years ago that she had been told by her Manager, to back off, as Maud was so difficult to help, and the man from the Council who has to deal with neighbours complaining about the junk in her garden also had been told to keep away.
Maud is 87, and hates getting old, but if I offered to do her shopping during the snow, she would say "I have always done my own shopping", and this means going with her while she trawls Netto's shelves, and as her eyes are very bad this takes a very long time. Everything tends to be negative for her, but when I come away she gives me a great kiss and shows her very kind side. She is wonderful to listen to when she speaks of her childhood, but now she is left without relatives and is desperately lonely, and as she has always been active she has no way of relaxing. I come away marvelling at the basic goodness of my friend Maud.