Rendezvous with a gentleman!
“You know I have dementia, right?”, asked John.
He had barely sat down in my car and put his seat belts on. And those were some of the first words he had for me.
I had no idea how to respond.
That morning, his wife Shelly and I had talked. She had mentioned about his increasing degeneration of cognitive abilities. We had agreed that I would come by and take him out for a coffee and snack.
I met him after many years. We were in Equifax together. That was two companies back for me. In between, I had showed up for his retirement party in Equifax. I remember we had gifted him with a bike. He is still crazy about bikes. That is when I had met Shelly for the first time.
Of course, I was not going to talk about his cognitive stuff with him. Having seen my dad and many of my hospice friends, most do not recognize that they are losing their cognitive capabilities.
You can imagine then why I was dumbfounded when he broached the topic right then and there – without any fear or favor. In hindsight, I had really nothing to be surprised by. John, as long as I have known him, has always been a straightforward person. He was and still is very open and honest.
Over coffee, I got to know a lot about his personal life and his past professional life. He was struggling here and there in his articulation but was clearly delighted that he could relive his past successes and happy moments thru the stories he kept telling me.
One of the highlights of his career was a small company that they had successfully sold to Experian (competitor of Equifax).
“So, you made a lot of money?”, I asked.
“I did alright”.
And then to prove that old mischievous John with a wicked sense of humor was still lurking around, he asked me:
“Do you know why I lost most of that money?”,
“Why?”, I asked, genuinely curious.
“Because I had married twice before I met Shelly!” he winked!
I almost snorted my tea out!!
I was good seeing you John! I look forward to many more coffee meetings!