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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Paddy Rice, a Great Loss

By Old Bill Weatherstone who blogs at The Diesel Gypsy

My name is William (Bill) Weatherstone and my wife has been a resident of the Golden Birches Terrace since November 2013.

One time on my daily visit to my wife, I was a little early and had to wait in the alcove next to Paddy Rice’s room while my wife was put to bed after lunch. His room was being serviced at the same time and he was out in his wheel chair cruising while waiting.

I immediately started up a conversation with him and we carried on for at least three-quarters of an hour; he was in no hurry to leave.

We were both near the same age and immediately the good old days subject took over. We clicked and started to reminisce about the early 1950s in the Blind River area.

We both used to drink in the Iron Horse Hotel - me while trucking through and him being at his regular watering hole. We compared experiences from that time and found our interest was in the same place.

Since that first meeting, I started to stop in his room (when the door was open) and spent a minimum of half an hour chit chatting. At one of those times before we finally connected, he told me that he had seen me pass his door while on my way to visit with my wife.

He seemed to lighten up and carry on with telling each other of our historical escapades.

The last meeting with him, one of the young female staff was helping him get settled down in his bed and then I accused him of chasing the young chicks and he came out with a feeble laugh and a great big smile. He then accused me of being jealous and I agreed.

In the last week, he seemed to waste away but I did most of the talking about our times over half a century ago, and he kept smiling even as weak as he was.

Today I looked into his room to see if he was up to having a chit chat again but his room was stripped and I had thoughts that our association was over. I asked one of the girls if it was final and she agreed.

His name was Paddy Rice and I will miss our reminiscing of the old days. May he rest in peace.

August 24, 2014

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Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


That was a great gift of friendship you two shared. I sorry for your loss.

What a tender gift you gave to Paddy! And another gift to us by sharing this story. Thank you!

Bill...I think you will never know just how much your visits meant to him... a story for those of us who have or who are now visiting a loved one in a care facility...even five or ten minutes of conversation or acknowledgement of another resident can bring joy to them. I know. Thank you for sharing.

You did two fine things, Bill--spending time with Paddy and sharing this story with us.

We need more like you. I have worked in nursing homes doing music and activities with the residents when I was younger--no matter how much they liked the songs and games, it was really the handshakes and the individual moments of communications that they loved.

What a precious treasure you had, both of you. I am sorry for the loss of your friend, but grateful you made his final days so great.

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