Visiting Friends

I have talked a lot about the role that music and eating out have played in our lives, but I haven’t said as much about our connection with friends. I am thinking especially of friends who live out of town. With one exception, our friend Ellen who is in memory care in Nashville, Kate and I don’t see them frequently, but they, too, have provided with a support network that continues to be important to us. Saturday, we visited Ann and Jeff Davis, a couple we first met in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin. Later, John and I were colleagues at the University of Tennessee. They moved away more than twenty years ago and now live in Nashville.

Kate has changed a lot since we last saw them, and I was glad when Ann sent an email asking if we might plan a visit. Kate’s memory of them has diminished, but I thought she would probably respond well to them once we were together. For the most part, I was right about that.

After taking our seats, we quickly broke into two different conversations, one between Ann and Kate, the other between Jess and me. It sounded like Kate was doing well though I recall her dodging a question she couldn’t answer by tossing it to me.

We were there a couple of hours. The conversation soon drifted to one among the four of us. That can be, and was, hard for Kate. She wanted to be involved, but that is difficult. Her poor memory means her vocabulary is substantially reduced and she doesn’t remember the past and is not familiar with current events. That’s makes it tough. She didn’t, however, say anything that made me think she was uncomfortable. That’s good.

As I look to the future, I am hopeful that we will continue with these trips. Right now we have another one scheduled to see Jan and Scott Greeley in Nashville two weeks from now. That’s another special connection for Kate. Her parents were close friends of Scott’s parents. Kate and Scott were crib mates in the early days of their lives. She no longer retains a memory of their times together, but she almost always beams when I mention a visit with them. At this time in our lives, relationships like these are especially meaningful.  We have shared a lot of experiences together, and I plan to keep them up unless it becomes uncomfortable for Kate.

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