Tuesday, 30 December 2008

What day is it, again?

The people you meet. The three individuals who came to the morning Mass (it is still a nice surprise to see who finds their way to the daily Octave Mass - today, two older ladies: Stella who is, I am discovering, a regular weekday worshipper, and Peggy, a lady I met for the first time a couple of days ago and who remembers worshiping in the old St Francis Church and whose statue and altar have, in addition to her, found their way into St Saviour's. And then there is Sue, whose face is a familiar one from attending the regular diocesan youth events with her husband and High School son). After Mass I spend some time sorting a few things out in church and I meet a collection of people wandering up the Church path. One of them recognises me - she works at St Teilo's School. The rest are her visitors looking for names on the war memorial outside. They find the name they are looking for, and I hear the clicking of the camera as I leave them to their business of remembering. An elderly lady in the queue behind me at the Co-op Store asks what day it is. I pause awhile not being able to recall the actual day of the week. We are, for a little while, united in our confusion. I have no excuse. Age is on her side.

Later that afternoon, a phonecall. I have forgotten a funeral visit, and I rush out of the house, grabbing my coat and scarf and remembering the old lady in the Co-op store. What day is it, again? I rush across to Grangetown to meet someone whose elderly mother has died and whose funeral is next week at St Saviour's Church, and, for the duration of my rather brisk walk, I wish I had never abandoned my car several years ago! The son and his wife accept my apologies graciously. His mother had been born and brought up in Splott and had, in fact, been baptised at St Francis' Church. We talk awhile. Memories. Sadness. Some laughter. Leaving the couple behind I walk back across the bridge on the Taff Embankment. A lady in a red car beckons to me. She is a worshipper from St Dyfrig and Samson's Church and kindly stopped to give me a lift over the bridge and back to the house. She is on her way to her son's house in Splott to walk his dog, and she takes a slight detour to deliver me safely home.

When I get in I check my diary to make sure I haven't missed any other appointments or that there aren't any looming over me and which I need to pay attention to. But the rest of the day is free, it seems. I double check to make sure I have the correct day. What day is it again? Ah yes, Tuesday. The 30th. In my mind, the lady in the Co-op smiles at me. There is a twinkle in her eye. Age is on her side. I wonder what she remembers and what she forgets and if we have more in common than just forgetting what day of the week it is. And I wonder too if, one day, I will stand in the middle of a shop asking the person in front of me what day it is and if I will remember forgetting a funeral visit.

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