Our Stories & Testimonies
Here are some of our favourite stories and journeys we have collated along the way...
Margaret & Angus
01.02.2021 - The start of Margaret & Angus' Connectforce Story.
Last night I spoke to Margaret, a resident at a care home run by the Catholic group Little Sisters of the Poor.
I was oddly nervous for the call. I think because I expected it to be hard work, or that my elderly companion would be struggling with loneliness in a way that might make for difficult conversation. I was gratefully received by the opposite. Margaret was bright and engaging. She happily carried the conversation herself, but was never boring. She told me about life at St Peters, the old Victorian walls, the evenings she’s been spending sitting on the landing with other residents listening to music and talking. She spoke most enthusiastically about gardens, recommending parks and green spots in London and further South-East that I should visit. She also spoke highly of the gardens outside her residence – she had a hand in maintaining them when she was more physically able, and now has an advisory role, instructing the gardener on which plants to buy.
She was breezy and frank on every subject. Never morose, not even on Covid. The home can feel like a prison, she said, but there we are. We’re getting by! I asked if she preferred Margaret or an abbreviation and she said definitely Margaret, telling me that she feels one should stick to the name given to them by their parents because that’s how they intended it. As an Angus and not a Gus I agreed.
I asked if she was a writer – she’d asked to be paired with one – and she said not professionally, but that she has written a three volume memoir of sorts. She hinted at some of its contents – so much life – and I expect we'll dig further into this during future calls.
At the end of our conversation she thanked me for calling. Her words were something to the effect of… “What you're doing is so good you know, because while we’re all sitting around, well, after a while we run out of things to say to each-other. So to speak to someone new is just wonderful.” Something clicked when she said that: the value of a fresh pair of ears. Even if that means telling the old stories to somebody new.
Our conversation was a roaring success I’d say. We’d both written lists of questions which, we admitted at the end of the call, we’d both neglected to reference once. I don't mind if we don't. Margaret's perspective on life, as a Catholic woman in her late 80s, was blinding – open, compassionate, curious. Our chat left me feeling upbeat, and calm in the way talking to someone much older and wiser than you can. I'm looking forward to chatting again.