A bit of a departure from my usual posts , this one , but something really moved me recently and I wanted to add some thoughts .
I have an Aunty who is , shall we say , something of a character . Felicity is 91 and though she has lost a lot of mobility , she still retains a razor sharp mind. She has opinions and , my goodness, will she express them .
Some years ago , Flis was very ill with cancer. Incredibly, and against all the odds, she pulled through and today she still lives in her own home ….knitting like its gone its gone out of fashion and giving her forthright views on everything from the price of melons to Brexit .
When she was poorly , Flis ‘ qualified ‘ to attend the local St. Giles Hospice as a day patient . She absolutely loved it there , taking on a self appointed role as ‘ Entertainment Manager ‘ and generally enjoying the company of both staff and patients . I know she has missed it terribly and so I was happy to take her back there last week when she wanted to take everyone bags of sweets and ‘ spare incontinence pads ‘ . Christmas , it seemed, had come early!! She didn’t , of course , just want to drop the sweets off , she wanted to sit for while with her friends again…and who could blame her ?
What struck me first was the genuine warmth in the way she was greeted . Staff hugged her with real affection and made a complete fuss of her. It was obvious she had made an impression . One gentlemen , a patient who remembered Flis from when she attended , was utterly charming . He was clearly delighted to see her and immediately engaged her in conversation , making her laugh …even giggle . What made this man even more amazing was his own story. He explained to me , without a hint of hint of self pity or desire for sympathy , that he his cancer was quickly spreading and was now ‘ everywhere ‘ . His sight had almost gone and had lost all his lower teeth and gums. Yet , everything he said and the upbeat way in which he said it was totally positive . ‘ What can you do about it ?’ he said with a smile ‘ You just have to carry on and make the best of things ‘. He chatted away for the best part of an hour with Flis , holding both her hands as he talked . She was absolutely loving it .
And then came the Bingo . Another wonderful chap, a volunteer who comes in a couple of times a week , took the session …and what a star he was . He made people laugh , he gently took the micky and was cheeky with the ladies ( who loved it ) ‘ Two 6 ‘s …spooning partners …66 ! ‘ he announced ‘ I bet its been a while since you’ve spooned with anyone , Mavis! ‘ he added . Mavis gave a sarcastic laugh whilst delivering the ‘ V’ sign. A perfect reposte and another reason why I love Walsall people.
Its easy to forget sometimes, but the flame does still burn in people’s hearts – no matter how incapacitated or old they are . It just needs re – igniting from time to time .
Oh …and I won the Bingo ! I’m now the proud possessor of a tube of ‘Lavender and Camomile Body Oil’ . Back of the net !!!!