Friday, January 9, 2009

I'd rather be his Friend

Yesterday I attended the graveside service of a gentleman (I’ll call him “Jim”) for whom I’ve been guardian – and conservator – for several years. It was chilly and windy, and like a fool I left my overcoat at the office.

But the service was one of the nicest I’ve been to for years. The minister spoke and did his thing, then several of his friends spoke. I learned a lot about Jim I had never known. I wish I'd gotten to know him 'in the day'.

I do a lot of guardianship work – I act as a ‘guardian of last resort’ in many instances and currently am guardian for a number of elder people who have no one to watch out for them. Many of these people have Alzheimer’s type dementia; some have been in an accident and suffer brain injury; Jim drank and pickled his brain, and could no longer care for himself. Someone had to help and take action Jim would not like and to which he would object.

But Jim was very lucky and blessed – he had friends. Friends who visited him regularly in the nursing home. Friends who took him to lunch. Friends who brought him cigarettes. Friends who cared and remembered the good days.
At the hearing when I was appointed Guardian for Jim, one of his his longtime friends and his attorney appeared and testified about why he thought Jim needed a guardian. The judge asked “Would you like to be the Guardian?”

“No sir, I’d rather be his friend”.

May we all be blessed with friends who care as much as Jim’s did.

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