20:00 hours...A lifeline to one very special couple!
We recently had the pleasure of having my brother come to stay with us for quite some time, at our home for waifs and strays...may I just add, he is neither a waif, nor a stray.....
As many of you know, from past tales, my brother and I grew up in a very unconventional home. We were encouraged to think for ourselves and to follow our hearts. I was lucky enough to do this, and by the time I was 21, I had travelled the world and lived a thousand lives....so it seems! But for my dear brother, this was not the case.
On his 17th birthday, my brother went to a party and decided not to stay overnight but to walk the long road home through narrow country lanes. These were the days of no mobile phones and we lived in a remote part of the country.
It was a wet December evening when my brother sat on a bench in a village for a rest. He was happy and looking forward to so much in his young life. His love of science urged him to do well in his exams, which he always did.
The time was a little after midnight when a friend of his pulled up on a motorbike. Because of the rain, my brother agreed to a lift...despite not having a helmet.
Sadly, they didn’t get very far. They crashed in the lanes. Thankfully, his friend survived with just a broken arm but for my dear brother, life would never be the same again.
A couple of months later, my brother returned home from hospital...paralysed down one side, epileptic, and short term memory which meant he would forget everything we told him within minutes. All our lives changed forever!
The years passed and by sheer luck (call it what you like) he met a young girl (just a couple of times) at a centre for the disabled. Sadly she left the centre but not before giving my brother her telephone number and instructions to call her every night at 20:00 hours.
That was almost thirty years ago and they have never missed a night’s chat in all that time. For many years, my brother kept a little black book which he recorded their conversation...so not to forget what they talked about. Over the years, my brother remembered more and more but he still suffers with short term memory. These daily 20:00 hour phone calls gave him an incentive to live. He still likes to look at science books but you can see how much he struggles...and how much he lost.
Occasionally, when my brother has had to spend long periods of time in hospital, his 20:00 hour friend visits him with her parents. It is so heart warming to watch how much they love each other...but it’s impossible for them to care for themselves.
When my brother came to stay with us for that couple of months, I learned so much from him.....
Enjoy life my friends....it is later than you think!