Ran into him unexpectedly last week. He was just leaving the cafe to go home and he saw me and said hello. He’s a fellow Landmark graduate and I’d seen him around a couple of times. That was the extent of it. We got chatting and I discovered who he really is.
That morning, he’d taken his elderly father out of intensive care at the hospital to care for him at home until the end. “I’m putting off going home,” he told me, “because I don’t know how he’s going to respond now he’s off the feeding tube and I’m going to try him on solids.” He’s been his father’s full-time carer for four years, except for the periods when his father is in hospital.
His wife is seven months pregnant with their second child, and his little boy is two and a half.
“Yeh, we’ve got Dad set up in the loungeroom so we have to make accommodations but we don’t mind,” he said.
All his concern was on his father’s first proper meal for weeks. “I’m going up to the [organic grocer] to buy yoghurt and bananas. What do you think? Yoghurt or banana? Which would be best?”
Afterwards, he was on my mind and in my heart for the rest of the day. Over and over, I get I don’t know anything including what people are dealing with and who they really are.
Image: Detail from The Adoration of the Magi, c. 1320 by Giotto di Bondone