A Calming Memory

For many years as the boy stood at the end of the lane with his siblings waiting for the school bus, there was a man their parents knew named Irv who would drive by on his way to work in his vintage Model T Ford.  Because the boy had a fascination with cars he always watched for Irv and his cool car.

Years later when the boy was grown and now a policeman he was called to a disturbance at a home.  When he arrived, an elderly man was laying on the floor in a fetal position alternately sobbing and yelling belligerently.  The man’s adult daughter was standing near-by, crying.

When the officer asked what was going on, the woman explained that she and her husband could no longer take care of her father because his dementia was getting worse.  But when they told him an elder care home now had room for him and they would be taking him there that evening, he had immediately become  uncontrollable.

The officer approached the man on the floor, trying to think what he could do to help the situation.  But when he got down close to the man he realized who he was … it was Irv, the man he remembered from his childhood who owned the Model T Ford he had so admired.  He called the man by name and told him he was Art’s son.  And then he began to tell Irv his memories of his early morning waves to Irv in his great antique car.  Irv immediately quieted as he listened to the young officer’s memories of the old car he had restored himself and so enjoyed driving for years.

After a few minutes of reminiscing, the officer helped Irv to his daughter’s car and then left, sad to see a man from his past in such poor health, but glad that the memories he had shared with Irv had helped calm him.

Hubby was a police officer for 36 years so I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that he can still occasionally tell me a story from that time that I have never heard before.  He told me this story a couple days ago when something jogged his memory.

13 Responses to A Calming Memory

  1. C. Beth says:

    That makes me choked up. What a touching story!

  2. Linda says:

    Your hubby was a good cop. This is just one example of his ability to assess and control a situation with wisdom. (Can you tell I’m a fan?) 🙂

  3. Hilary says:

    Sad but wonderful tale, Sandra. I had no doubt that the cop was your hubby. He’s a good man.. but of course you don’t need me to tell you that. 🙂

  4. carlahoag says:

    Oh, Sandra, this is a great story and a tribute to your husband.

    My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, which I think was inaccurate. There are many kinds of dementia and I don’t know which it was, and maybe it doesn’t matter. As time passed it became more and more difficult to think of things we could talk about, but as with your husband, I discovered that reminiscing about pleasant memories and the wonderful things she did for me and our family was always a good thing.

    It’s nice having a smart and compassionate husband, isn’t it?

  5. Sandra says:

    Beth — I thought so too.

    Linda — Thank you so much. You are a good friend to both of us. 🙂

    Hilary — I DO know that, but it nice to hear it from others too. Thank you, friend.

    Carla — Thank you. I was always proud that he was not just a police officer, but one with compassion too.

  6. Amy Ostrowski says:

    I love this story. It doesn’t surprise me. Your hubby is remarkable. Dementia is such an evil disease. My Mom’s husband has been diagnosed with it and it is very hard. He now can not remember who my children are or my husband. He still remembers me once in a while. The funny thing is he thinks my husband is a preacher. It must be because he is a non-stop talker. 😉

    • Sue Schumm says:

      Neat story, Sandy….I’m not suprised that Jim would be that compassionate to Irv. My dad had alzheimers too….xoxo

  7. Sandra says:

    Amy — Dementia is SUCH a terrible affliction and it seems like almost every family ends up having some member with it. I’m sorry your family has had to deal with it too.

    Sue — Thank you for your faith in Jim. 🙂

  8. kcinnova says:

    Here via Hilary’s POTW.
    So wonderful that your dh could go back to a memory to help this man become calm, to remind him of a time when he was in control.

  9. SueAnn says:

    Beautiful yet sad story! And that is wonderful that his recollection calmed Irv!!
    Congrats on your POTW
    Hugs
    SueAnn

  10. Sandra says:

    kcinnova — That’s the reason I posted it — when he told me the story it touched me that his memories had helped that man from long ago. I’m honored by the POTW. 🙂

    SueAnn — I agree, beautiful yet sad. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  11. Unknown Mami says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. It is quite touching and I’m so glad that “Irv” had someone there who remembered him from another time and felt compassion.

  12. Sandra says:

    UM — It is touching isn’t it. And I’m glad Hubby was there at the right time with his memories to calm Irv. You expressed that exactly the right way.

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