Wondering about Bill

At the top of my road on my way to work this morning, I spotted Bill, he’s a lovely old guy who I told you about here https://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/a-contrast-of-elderly-men/  and here https://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/january-small-stone-twelve/

Once again I hadn’t seen him for a couple of weeks and I dashed up to him with a smile.

‘How are you, it’s lovely to see you?’ then up close I noticed his face, and knew he wasn’t well.

‘Not too good’ he said, ‘I’ve been coughing all night and sick with my stomach as well.’ He looked grey and didn’t have the energy to flirt with me, as he does with all the ladies. He was walking home from the local shop – about two hundred metres – with a loaf of bread and some milk, leaning heavily on his stick.

‘It looks like you should go home to bed today dear and take it easy, give yourself chance to recover.’

‘I can’t do that, I’m going to see my friend.’ He has a lady friend who lives about a mile away and it isn’t on a bus route so he walks it.

‘Maybe wait until tomorrow and just take care of yourself today, it’s a bit of a walk’ I said gently.

‘I’ve got to walk my legs will go otherwise, got to keep moving like Felix,’ his first smile.

‘Felix who?’

‘Felix the cat keeps on walking, so I’ve got to else I’ve had it, I’ll be stuck in my chair!’

‘You stubborn so and so! well just be careful’ I watched him walk on slowly.

I know that Bill’s daily trip to the shop stops him from being lonely, because he speaks to everyone. Apart from seeing his lady friend weekly, I don’t think he has anyone around. He is a very private person and doesn’t know that I know his name even, hopefully the shop keeper would notice if he didn’t show up.

The last time I saw him he was dispensing advice to some students whose car wouldn’t start and he was very perky and cheeky. I really want to see him bounce back quickly and keep on walking like Felix.

Felix keeps on walking, keeps on walking still.
With his hands behind him,
you will always find him.

15 thoughts on “Wondering about Bill

  1. We forget some that some old fellows can be very lonely. Women I think will more easily make friends even in old age but in our society me don’t join things, don’t volunteer information about themselves, often able to cook, clean and look after themselves for obvious reasons.
    I know a couple of old chaps who have a daily walking route around town and I go out of my way to speaking to them, for a few minutes at a time. I’m surprised at how much they are willing impart and how much they seem to enjoy these few minutes in the week.
    Keep up the good work.
    PS I’ve volunteered to help Ester Ransons new charity providing telephone companionship for the elderly at home alone.

    1. I’m really fond of this man – chatting to him often makes me late for work but its okay he deserves it 🙂 Nice to know you do the same and it doesn’t surprise me. I’ll check out the charity, thanks for telling me.

  2. You are a jolly, caring soul, Gilly. It warms my heart to read you look out for him. A mile seems a long way to go when one needs to lean hard on a cane. Of course, a lady friend will give the extra umph. 🙂

  3. Good on you Gilly. I remember how Papa used to enjoy chatting with the people he met on his walks, recounting their stories and his conjectures when he got home – and he wasn’t even lonely, having me and Ma at home all day. It was just that his meetings kept him plugged into his community, part of things. 🙂

  4. I guess that talking to Bill is already a blessing, to see that smile, and his reference to Felix the Cat … how marvellous to be inspired by a cartoon figure … he is a fortunate man to have you and others caring about him … does his lady friend visit him too Gilly?

  5. Elderly people feel ashamed if they can’t do for themselves. Men have more pride than woman in that area. He sounds like he’s trying to keep his independence. Your kind words and visiting with him were probably a lift to his spirit, Gilly. Good for you for taking the time to do that.
    Nice post …. xoxo

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