6. Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity (1 Timothy 4:2).

Blog U4 - Wilfred Gordon 2

Years ago I came across a delightful book called “Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge” written by Mem Fox. Wilfred Gordon is a small boy who lives next door to a home for older people. Of all the people who live there his favourite person is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper, because of the fact that she has four names as well. When Wilfrid Gordon finds out that Miss Nancy has lost her memory he decides to do something about it:

Besides being a heart-warming book, it tells us something important about memory. When I listen to the Blue Danube Waltz I don’t just hear some beautiful classical music. I immediately think of my mother because it was her favourite piece of music. I sometimes feel a sense of loss, because I miss her. Often I feel a sense of peace, knowing that she is now in her True Home. Her face comes to my mind’s eye, and I remember her Dutch-accented English and some of the stories she used to tell. What is happening? The music is a trigger to my memories and emotions. It brings lots of things about Mum to mind. (I should add that I also think of the Blue Danube Waltz being played at Mum’s funeral – of course in a version by the Dutchman Andre Rieu. That’s not unimportant, because I am related to him by marriage: my Aunt’s granddaughter is married to his son!)

When we use a trigger of some kind – a photo, an object, a smell, something to touch, a song or piece of music – then memory is awakened. That’s vital for reaching someone living with dementia: someone like Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper.

So, what triggers will you use to awaken someone you know and love?

With blessings,

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Author: dementiadiscussed

Author of Dementia Discussed.

One thought on “6. Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge”

  1. That is a wonderful story book Frank. I loved the innocent non judgemental view the young boy had towards his elderly friend. Rev Steve Aynsley has used it for the children’s story in a Church service. I was always struggling with my father in law to find that trigger for him.


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