Saturday, 16 August 2008

Dear Old Tom

I was sitting thinking of years gone by, when my late father-in-law, Tom, came to mind. He was a lovely chap, and was always smiling. His wife totally and absolutely spoilt him, and all he ever did in the house, apart from DIY, was wiping up and making a pot of tea! Of course, when his dear wife died, he couldn't realistically look after himself, and as we owned a retirement home in Kent, he came to live with us there. We lived on the top floor for a while, and on Tom's request, we gave him his own room amongst the residents. He loved looking in on them to say goodnight, and thoroughly enjoyed the weekly parties we held for them all. He adored the homes dog, Pickles, and they were inseperable. He also had his girlfriend, Doris, a resident. He was very much loved by residents and staff alike, and had his little jobs that he liked to do to help the staff, like helping the gardener, and seeing that all the kitchen waste was securely tied up etc.,.

After he had lived with us for 5 years, he sadly got prostate cancer and died. This is a poem that I made up and gave out to the staff.


He always had a smile for you,

He always had a joke,

Happy in his own small world,

With his home, his wife and 'smoke'.

For miles around they knew him,

That kind and helpful man,

He'd clean their windows, mend their things,

And often an errand ran.

He always helped the old folk,

The helpless and the poor,

He had his wife and children,

And would never ask for more.

As years passed by he slowly aged,

But was a familiar sight,

Carrying peoples bags for them,

(But now his hair was white!).

His world it fell apart one day,

When he lost his treasured wife,

Suddenly she wasn't there,

He'd lost part of his life.

He needed looking after,

So came to live with us,

And tried to settle down here,

With the minimum of fuss.

The tables began turning,

He was 'useful' once again,

As he helped the ladies and the staff,

In his own little domain.

He had his faithful Pickles,

Doris, and the staff,

His garden and his rubbish bags,

He always liked a laugh.

You made him feel so needed,

You made him feel so proud,

As he helped you in the kitchen,

And joined in with 'the crowd'.

At parties he would hold the mike,

And sing with all his heart,

I think he was his happiest,

When he heard the music start.

But sadly Tom became unwell,

And illness took it's toll,

He couldn't help us any more,

He couldn't play 'his role'.

His garden patch grew weedy,

The rubbish piled up high,

His strength it fast was fading,

To see him made us cry.

But Tom was totally unaware,

Of what lay in store for him,

He relished all the love you gave,

And returned it with a grin.

Tom didn't suffer any pain,

You gave him so much care,

And when time came for him to leave,

Again, you all were there.

Our lives are all the richer,

For knowing dear old Tom,

And we owe so much to all of you,

For making him 'belong'.

I know he's not too far away,

I feel him everywhere,

And when next we have our party,

Don't be fooled, 'cos he'll be there!

And in all our future summers,

If you would like a treat,

I'm sure you'll feel him sitting,

In his 'personal' garden seat.

You show love and understanding,

In everything you do,

So from Lennie, Sandie and Pickles,

Our heartfelt thanks to you.

This is a picture of Tom and his lovely wife Flo.