Full of Days - a reflection on ageing
Updated: Jul 14, 2020
Anna Chaplaincy network member in Swansea, Pam Cram, has written a booklet called Full of Days. It became a project during lockdown, offering some 'thoughts and ideas relating to age and ageing well'.
'Just a few weeks before lockdown,' writes Pam, 'I took part in the Ministry among Older People course at Cliff College, Derbyshire. Being almost completely confined to home during the following weeks gave me plenty of time to read the recommended books and reflect on the issues.
'I also used the time to sort through all our family and holiday photos on the computer, and to revisit my family history, having taken a DNA test with Ancestry not long before lockdown. So I’ve been doing some of the things that are widely seen as a task of ageing – thinking about my story and my family's story, examining memories, recognising regrets, integrating my past into my present, finding meaning, purpose and hope.
'I was linking together some lockdown activities – my family history research, sorting through loads of photos on the computer – and reading some of the recommended books from the (Cliff College) course, plus re-visiting all the notes I made at the time.
'Each chapter of Full of Days (a double page spread) has a photo from the family archives, the story behind it and then a reflection relating to ageing and/or the Covid-19 experience. Each chapter then ends with questions or suggestions for personal reflection or things to find out about or do.'
Interspersed are 'quotations and things like the Wales Rights of Older People and a resume of the image we were given of dementia on the course [how books from the bookshelves of our mind get shaken and break loose over time].'
'The book has grown organically as the ideas for a chapter grow in my mind over a few days and then get typed up.
'I make no charge for this book, apart from printing cost and postage and packing if posted to you. However, I invite you to make a donation to Methodist Homes, whose voice has been heard speaking out strongly for all the care sector during the Covid-19 pandemic. Donations can be made online: www.mha.org.uk or to me at 86 Pontardawe Road, Clydach, Swansea, SA6 5PA.'