January 15, 2008

A Turning Point

Our friend Duck as the world traveler. Here he is on the left with an unknown fellow traveler in India on an elephant.

Sunday we arrived to visit and found Duck in the all purpose room watching a Jackie Chan movie. Intently watching. Jackie Chan never interested him before, but he always loved lithe, healthy bodies. Perhaps that’s why he’s watching.

He’s always easy to find anywhere he is. He sits tall and straight in his wheel chair. Then because they cut his hair so very short, he always has a hat on because his head is cold. Right now he’s wearing a tall, grey ski cap perched on the very top of his head that makes him loom even taller at the very back of the darkened room. G crept in and hugged him then left him watching Mr. Chan leap through space.

Yesterday, he greeted us as we arrived, a speeding Duck with a huge grin on his face, both hands pushing on the wheels of his wheel chair and both feet moving rapidly on the floor. So delighted to see us.

“He’s been up here several times today,” the receptionist told us with a smile.

So social after months of sitting in his room. We know it won’t last long, but he was always a social critter in the past. We will enjoy it while we have it now, but I must remember to bring my camera with me today.

Granddaughter Beth complains that I always seem to have a camera in my hand.

“Grammaaaaa,” she says drawing out the word. Half jokingly.

Today, I was drawn to putting all the Duck pictures in one file on my computer. As I sort Duck’s pictures in my jpg files, I wish that I’d had my camera with me a little more often.

Our social friend Duck loved to give parties. No matter how big or small his home, how fancy or economical the affair, he would find some way of having us all to dinner then maybe later off to a museum opening, parade, or play….something a little different in the way of an evening. Costume parties delighted him. I even have photos of those, but I have no pictures of his gatherings. I have only a few pictures of him with us at Christmas. I found more images of Duck and G stored in an online site but not in my jpg file. Lets hope I saved these to disc as Duck looks very delighted in these 2005 trolley pictures.

There are only a few shots of him in what he called his “last suit.” And it was his last suit. He bought it to wear to the “Light Bulb Concert Series” with G and I, and later with Dr. John too. I only took pictures of these social moments once. At least I had the camera then.

There’s one picture of Duck in his last full year at home. We knew something wasn’t quite right that year when he stopped his wonderful and imaginative cooking and started buying take out food for his guests. It seemed a logical progression, but it wasn’t him. Then one day, our always very conservatively dressed friend took us all out to a picnic in the park while dressed in orange.

It took me a while to find that picture this morning. My minds eye remembered the image clearly…Duck sitting straight, carefully, not reacting to the rest of us who were being a bit silly at a picnic at the Organ Pavilion just before “Silent Film Night.” After an hour of copying images into a new file of Duck pictures, I found it tucked into an amorphous 2005 folder.

I’m a visual person. For me, this image is the turning point in a man’s life.

Duck: Very social.
Me: Knee continues better. Doc said keep taking pain pills for the hip, and she would be back in the office Wednesday. I think she believes I’m just dizzy, when instead I’m totally nonfunctional, babbling, and a typing all day uncontrollably, a dithering madwoman. Not good. I’m not taking her pain pills.
G: Delightful.
Weather: 67 for the high. 48 for the low.
WW: Monday: B: Peas and carrots and coffee; L: ½ Ham n’ Cheese, veggies, V8, Diet Coke; Snack, Diet Coke, 1 point lemon bar; D: quiche, salad with ½ avo, 2 tbsp oil and vinegar, 1 point fudge bar, 2 – 1 point spice bars. Dinner is my problem area….obviously. Tues: Peas and carrots with coffee, eet al.



  1. I hope my friends and family will be able to think of me as lovingly as you think of Duck. How lucky he is to have you, and you to have such great memories of him.

  2. Alice at WintersongJanuary 17, 2008 at 12:02 PM

    Ruthe said exactly what I was feeling. He really sounds like a fabulous person the loving way you portray him.


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In honor of Captain Poolie, the museum held a Steampunk Show.   She loved steampunk.   Here are a few shots from last night.   We had ...