Tuesday, October 20, 2009

OFF AND RUNNING.........ok, crawling

I can see already that this blogging stuff is going to test my level of commitment to the stated task which is no task at all. The problem I see looming before me is how to put order to the myriad of ideas for expressing my love for Catherine and James Neville LeDuke.

I can only hope that I don't loose the interest of the few that I know to be reading these posts as I ramble and add form and direction to my thoughts. I am sharing more of this process with you than I should because of my inexperience at this format. I promise if you will be patient with me I will make this literary journey worthwhile. How's that for confidence.

Concerning my posting yesterday, my very good friend CWC has informed me that George Santayana's 4 sonnet work entitled "To. W. P." was a tribute to Warwick Potter whom the poet referred to as "his last real friend". Potter died of cholera following a boating accident in 1893. More than this you will have to research on you own. Two hundred words minimum. Have your papers on my desk by Friday......................Wow. I think I just channeled the great lady herself.

Yesterday I mentioned that Mother amazed us with her reciting skills. Marty reminded me that the occasion when she was introduced to Santayana's Sonnet occurred when Mother was sequestered in a rehabilitation facility in Martin in 2004. Mother had just left the hospital following her second hip replacement and was spending the required 30 days in re-hab learning how to put on her socks and shoes without bending over.

To accomplish this feat (no pun intended) she spent an hour each day in the physical therapy room of the nursing home using assorted gadgets designed to strengthen various muscles of the body. This is really boring stuff as any of you can attest who has either witnessed or participated in these exercises.

To while away the time Mother would recite poems and assorted soliloquies. The nurses thought this was quite a hoot; this 88 year old lady sitting in their therapy room pedaling a make-believe bicycle reciting "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening". Followed immediately by "In Flanders Fields". Followed immediately by "Mark Anthony's "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him". Followed by............OK you get the point.

Understand Mother was not speaking quietly to herself. No. She had an audience of between 5 and 9 other little white haired old ladies pedaling as fast as they could to no where, listening intently to every line she spoke. The nurses were never sure when there would be a pause that would allow them to stop the bicycling action so they could switch the ladies to some other equally mundane contraption.

This was a twice a day event that went on for three weeks. The exercise classes for the time slot that Mother was assigned to grew day by day. By the end of Mother's stay at that facility Mother had several of the ladies well versed in "I think that I have never seen a............." and "The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;". As you can see Mother's range was quite broad and it was said by several of the nurses that she never repeated the same poem twice, at least not in the same day.

I would have questioned the validity of this story had I not witnessed several of these sessions myself. I was reminded just the other day when, as I reported yesterday, Mother at 93 and not always clear what day it is, knocked off Santayana's 14 line tribute to his friend without hesitation and without a missed word; well maybe one or two, but come on, let's cut her some slack.

Jimmy LeDuke

1 comment:

  1. She is an amazing LADY!!! What this must have done for those that were lucky enough to be her audience<3