At the cafe I use (a greasy spoon) there was a customer called Antony, he was about 78 years old and travelled everywhere on an old bike. Antony`s wife had long since pre-deceased him and he would use the cafe for some sort of social release as well as regular meals. The table he regularily occupied often held several other elderly men, who used the cafe for much the same reason that Antony did. Slowly they either ceased visiting for whatever reasons and eventually there was only Antony and one other elderly Gentleman, Eric left. The Table that used to often creat so much laughter and happiness had grown dim.
Today I found out that Antony had gone missing, and that Eric and the cafe proprietor had called the police to check out his house, the social services and Age concern too. The Police checked out his house with Eric and The Cafe Proprietor but Age concern and the Social services really didn`t want to know, from what I can disern, from their lack of interest, he wasnt found there.
What I have to ask myself now is should I have taken more notice of Antony`s lack of interest in food and his ever more ailing demeanour? I have to say that I was too interested in my own situation to have cared very much. My "Im alright Jack" attitude being ever present.
Is getting old really a case of getting on with it or do you get out of life what you put into it? If that is the case then I guess that I will get old alone and have to put up with it, should I live that long.
So far everybody at the cafe has been trying to locate Anthony but the main fear has to be that he has taken himself off to die, he obviously never felt very good in the latter months but never complained, his recent habit of not eating and only just drinking some tea was spotted by the Cafe owner who thought it would pass, I have to say that I wasn`t aware but then again what would I have done? Nothing I guess, just like the Social services and Age concern. Is that to be the way of the modern British society? will we, effectively, take our old and ailing out into the snow to die? this is the UK, 2005 isnt it? I do hope he is found soon and OK.