I have always
tried not to be a burden
on anybody. Certainly not on my grandchildren, who already have their
own children and to whom I gave the apartment where I lived
before coming here. I chose to leave it. What would you
I am 82 years
old. Iím not that old, but I couldnít stay alone
in my home any longer. Sometimes I forgot to take my medicines,
some mornings I just couldnít manage to go out and
do the shopping and so I took my decision: a specialist institute for the
elderly, where I can be with other people of
my own age, nice people. Everything paid for, everything guaranteed,
no need to make the bed or to cook and no
trouble for anybody .
Leaving my home
has not been easy. Itís one thing to talk about
it, but itís another thing to actually do it. But in the end
I managed to do it. For a while I didnít get to
sleep: the furniture, my linen, the plates, the photographs on the
wall, the smells, the noises, and the pots. When you have them it
seems normal. But when your things are no longer there you notice it.
It hasnít gone badly for me here. The food
is acceptable. The place is clean and in theory there is a
nice garden. I say ďin theoryĒ, because in the meantime my health
has deteriorated somewhat and without someone to accompany me, I canít make
it out into the garden. All in all, there wouldnít be much
to complain about if only, when you are inside, life wasnít turned upside
down. What is normal becomes impossible.
Time. After a while you forget what day it
is, because all days are the same. Itís as if there
was nothing to wait for. Not even the TV programmes.
Because there is only one TV shared by many and everyone
wants to watch a different programme.
Things . It wouldnít
take anything to buy batteries for the radio, paper handkerchiefs, fruit juices
and a magazine. Nothing if you were on the outside. Now, I
only get these things from time to time when my grandchildren
come. But the live far away and I donít want to be a
burden just now.
Glasses. Everything becomes complicated, here,
for nobodyís fault. My glasses broke when they fell off my
bedside table. And I spent many weeks trying to find someone
to get them fixed for me.
To be honest,
maybe the thing that begins to trouble
me most is the fact that nobody, for days, weeks, says my
name. If there is no-one who says your name you can have all,
but it is like if you canít breathe. Will I end up
forgetting it too?
So I said to
myself: I must react. What can I do? I can be a friend. A faithful friend, whatís more.
Yes. If you are looking for a friend come and visit me.
I have time and you will not disturb me. I
am interested in what is happening in the world and I
would like to listen to your stories, to speak to
you. I said to myself ďAn hour of timeĒ. Yours
and mine. To become friends, to be needed by somebody. In
the face of loneliness.