Jump to content
  • entries
    107
  • comments
    397
  • views
    15,038

Tom

Sign in to follow this  
givincare

434 views

Tom is a "regular" who comes into the restaurant usually on Mondays and Fridays. He is probably in his eighties, although I have never asked. As a matter of fact, I ask very few questions of him. Usually, I listen.

 

He has his regular server, Angie, who waits on him. She was the first waitress he had at our restaurant after he and his wife moved here from California two or three years ago. They "got such a kick out of her" they requested her every time since. Tom even says Angie is his "adopted daughter". Whatever she needs, he will be there for her. And he has.

 

Nowdays it is just Tom. Tom's wife had a fall shortly after their move, and has never been back to her old self. During her rehabilitation, they also discovered she had dementia. She apparently had turned violent, and has been in a "dementia lodge" (as Sue would put it) ever since.

 

I know it is hard on Tom, not having his wife home and knowing he can't take care of her needs himself. But by the same token, he has peace knowing that she is in a lovely facility where they take excellent care of her. He goes to visit her often, and says it's gets harder each time; she wants to know when he will let her come home.

 

He also spends alot of time with his grandchildren. His grandson, about 12 I think, is taking karate. Tom takes him to karate twice a week and is his sponsor. His grandaughter is 15 and wants him to teach her to drive. He declined saying he would make her nervous and she would scare the hell out of him. Instead he is looking forward to when vollyball starts up again in September. He says he has a ball watching her play.

 

When Tom comes in, I usually try to sit down with him towards the end of his meal. I have to wait a bit because we could sit there all day, and in reality, I need to be there for ALLl the guests and crew. So I wait until he is closer to leaving to sit down.

 

He always has a story to tell. But unlike some "story-tellers", there is a sense of solemness and wisdom in his stories. He doesn't tell them to be entertaining or to get a laugh; he tells them so you understand his perspective of why he believes what he believes. He is a philosipher. And yet he never takes life too seriously. He rolls with what life has handed him and believes that it is the way it is suppose to be.

 

He has told me about his childhood and how he and his two sisters and brother had to choose which parent to live with after his parents divorced. Two kids went with his mom, he and another with his dad. He says he had wondered at times on what had missed out on, not living with his mom and the other two kids. But then he decided he had missed nothing; he couldn't miss something he never knew about. In fact, he said for all he knew, there were things he may have been "damn lucky to miss". No sense wondering about the "what if's".

 

The life lessons continue every time he comes in. Sometimes, I disagree as they are merely a reflection of the culture/era he grew up in. But most times, he gives me comfort. He reminds me life is just life, no need for self-pity. He shows me I can handle whatever comes my way, even when I think I can take no more. I will get through it, and this time will be a memory before I know it- for better or worse. He tells me you can never go back- and he couldn't be more right. The past is the past. Enjoy today instead.

 

 

Kristen

Sign in to follow this  


7 Comments


Recommended Comments

Kristen,

 

My mom had Alzheimer's and it was a very long goodbye. She also went through a stage where it was very hard to visit her as she continually asked to go home. I knew that was not possible. The thing is that asking to go home really is a phase. The disease progressed and after a while (years) she no longer asked to go home. Soon after that whenever I went to see her I made sure to begin with "Hi Mom" to help her place me. Then there came a point where I knew she was not even registering that her child was speaking to her. She did not even know who I was.

 

This is very sad. But, all one can do is find a way to make peace with the situation and provide the best care possible.

 

It is good you are able to make a connection. He needs all the support he can get.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Kristen:

 

It's so great to see you take out time to spend with your customers, I think I will go to those restaurents more pften.

i bet it's fulfilling to both of you, he gets someone to talk to, and you are getting pearl of wisdom which is in mind better learnt from others life than your own life

 

Asha

 

Share this comment


Link to comment

Kristen,

Thanks for sharing - moving blog. Both you and Tom are fortunate to have found each other's friendship.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Hi Kristen,

 

You are lucky to have Tom's pearls of wisdom. My Dad was the same era and they understood what really mattered in life and how to not worry about the things that could not be changed.

 

Ask Tom what was the invention or discovery in his lifetime that made the biggest difference in his life. For my Dad being a GP it was the Polio Vaccine.

 

Thanks for the story.

 

Kind regards,

Dickons

Share this comment


Link to comment

Kirsten

 

He reminds me life is just life, no need for self-pity. He shows me I can handle whatever comes my way, even when I think I can take no more. I will get through it, and this time will be a memory before I know it- for better or worse. He tells me you can never go back- and he couldn't be more right. The past is the past. Enjoy today instead.

 

Thank you so much for this. I have been feeling down these past few days, this is just the advice I needed. I think i will print it out and put it on the wall.

 

I wish I had a friend like Tom.

 

Mary

Share this comment


Link to comment

Thank You for the replies. Tom really is a special guy. We seemed to have a connection right away. One of the first times I sat down with him, he had been talking to me for at least half an hour (which I don't mind doing, just worry I am neglecting my job :) )and he stopped mid-sentence and said: "I think your brown eyes make it easy for me to talk to you." I have been happily all ears ever since.

 

It's funny, he usually calls me "the Boss Lady" because he still has trouble remembering my name!

 

Kristen

 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...