Maggy didn’t like calling anyone old, but Mr. Watson suited the term rather well. He was grouchy, surly, uncouth, arrogant, independent and a bit of a jerk. She couldn’t help but wonder what he’d been like in his youth and whether-or-not his churlishness came from the inability to do all that he once had.
She knew he’d been in the navy for many years, had had a family who never bothered to visit but once a year and which seemed to upset him more than please him. It was understandable really. If you wanted the family to visit and they ignored you all year but made the “big” effort one day a year to prove they still loved you, well, it was enough to make anyone churlish and surly.
That’s why, whenever possible, Maggy would grab his favourite book and take him outside, weather permitting, and read to him. He seemed to enjoy those moments as his eyes always lit up when he saw her approaching.
She was quite sure he was very capable of reading on his own, but he’d enjoyed their little get-togethers and without a word sat back, relaxed and listened. Having lost her own parents and grandparents at an early age, it suited her as well, a connection in a way with a past long gone and forgotten.
When she managed to get him talking, he would reminisce about what life had been like in the “glory” days as she called them. The days when life was heady, full of excitement, the unexpected, the flavourful as he’d once called it.
Indeed, thoughts of memorable times could carry you a great distance, but in the end, the reality of life flooded in and took over. It would be hard living as he was now, confined to a wheelchair, unable to wander where he wanted when he wanted.
Maggy had to admit that she’d come to enjoy, even look forward to their time together. She’d been volunteering in the nursing home a couple hours a week for a couple of years and as she witnessed the joy her presence brought, she’d continued. She hoped if and when that day came for her, she would find someone as willing able and capable of extending her the same kind of courtesy.