The plumber’s been at last – we’ve been enduring a version of Chinese water torture since Saturday when hot tap in utility room finally took a turn too far and refused to close off. Necessity being the mother of invention, I’ve been experimenting with ways to deflect the slowly running water and stop the constant noise. In case you’re similarly afflicted in the future, I can reveal a pizza baking tray with holes to stop the development of a soggy bottom, is the best remedy. Our plumber, Nick, has damaged his back while in unnatural positions under someone’s sink. He called in a favour and a brace of plumbers arrived this afternoon, changed the ‘guts of the tap’ (as described to me) and calm is restored. Tried and failed to persuade myself the irritating constant flow was a delightful mini waterfall to cool us in this heat.
But that’s not why I’m writing, something else has been haunting me for days.
This picture moved me to the core of my being and I’m not sure why my reaction was so marked. I am a champion of the elderly and have written about their care previously but I saw and felt something spiritually beautiful when I looked at the loving care with which this man is holding, and gazing at, the baby and the total trust on the infant’s face. It moved me to tears. A loving family surrounds these souls in the Spring and Autumn of their earthly journeys. When the sand in the mortal timer signals the moment of transition, this wonderful sharing will forever be captured in this special moment.
There was a very special relationship between my own Mother and Daughter which showed in a deep understanding of each other from the very first days. Although the relationship was severed physically in 2001, the care and connectedness continues as love is only ever a thought away.
I’m from, and have, a loving family and feel a depth of gratitude for that but I am well aware that many don’t share that privilege. When I was training as a nurse – in what feels like a previous life – I remember being particularly vocal about the elderly I met who languished in hospital or long-term care without ever receiving a visitor, except the WI volunteer or the vicar. Mum encouraged me not to judge as I didn’t know the full story or how the absent family may have been treated in the past.
The very worst case I encountered was an old lady who came into a nursing home for two weeks’ respite care to give the family chance to take a holiday. They did that alright, emigrating without telling anyone and leaving behind one very frightened mother.
But surely there’s a deep need to reach a place of understanding and forgiveness to be free from the chains of resentment and anger, isn’t there? Yes, that’s probably as challenging as caring for someone who may be ungrateful and demanding but adding guilt to such a volatile cocktail of emotions would be toxic, don’t you think?
I realise that I’m making third party observations but is this something you’ve striven to overcome? Have you reached a place of healing or maybe you’re still struggling to find inner peace? Do please share your thoughts and feelings as, in so doing, you may be helping another to seek a way forward.