Elder Care

The Thursday Night Bridge Game

By John F. Tomczak

It wasn’t long after I joined the Bereavement Self Help Social Group at hospice that I discovered that my fellow members were a very interesting group of people. They were also very kind and went out of their way to make newcomers welcome.

They came from very diverse backgrounds complete with many interesting stories and experiences. The frustrating game of bridge had a great following and I soon was a regular at the Thursday night bridge games.

One Thursday I picked up my bridge partner, whom I might add was and still is a lot better player than I, and off we went to a mutual friends place for our regular game of bridge.
We greeted our usual regular players and noticed a new guest who was introduced by our host of the evening.

He was a very pleasant man and I noticed he was careful to repeat my partner’s name as he was introduced to her. I thought he was overdoing it a bit but put the thought aside and soon was doing my best at the bridge table.

Great game, mostly because I won for a change. However I noticed that whenever my partner and the new guest were playing together I got the distinct impression they actually knew each other. Being the soul of propriety I of course said nothing but I wondered.

Game over, refreshment out of the way, thanks were given and we were on the way home. My partner, usually talkative, was strangely quiet. When I got to her place she invited me in for another cup of coffee and in we went. When we were settled in the living room she asked me what I thought of the new man. I thought, well now I am about to hear the rest of the story. I told her I thought he was a very nice, quiet man and an excellent bridge player. And the rest of the story is that he was her first husband and she hadn’t seen him in the past twenty years. Well the irony of the situation hit us and we laughed our heads off.

It turns out they had a marriage that although was seemingly happy was not to be a lasting one. They had parted as friends but, as I said, never saw each other again all these years. He had remarried and recently lost his wife. She had died in the care of hospice and that is how he came to one of the social group’s activities.

So I learned another little lesson. Pay attention to that feeling one gets in any situation, don’t ask for an explanation and most likely you will hear the rest of the story when the time is right.

Copyright John F. Tomczak. All rights reserved

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