Special People

What a week this has been.  I lay in bed this morning thinking about the people who have touched my life over recent days. I came to the conclusion that it is those little things people do that make them stand out from the crowd.  This week, I lost my mother-in-law.  She had been ill for many weeks and wanted to be at home for her final days.  This involved my husband, his sister and brother taking turns looking after her most personal needs and for the last two weeks, all three of them have done it together. Their love and care enabled her to have her last wishes and they would tell you that after all she had done for them, it was the least they could do for her. However, in these modern times, it isn’t the ‘norm’ for such intense care to happen from the family. When she finally slipped away peacefully this week, they were bereft.  They knew it was coming but it didn’t make it any easier when it happened. Each of them can now return to their own families and receive some love and care for themselves. It was a hard few months and they deserve a bit of a break and some nurturing.
I, meanwhile, was at home keeping things together here. I have an elderly father too and he isn’t in the best of health. After 36 years of marriage, we still find it difficult to be apart (although the house was certainly quiet, neat and tidy while I was here on my own!) but my two daughters kept making sure that I was fine, popping by from time to time and having some quality time together. I have two very special girls and count my blessings that they turned out so caring and loving.
Then we come to Harriet and Scott…. Those of you who are not on Twitter will never be able to understand this, but Harriet is part of my Twitter following and Scott joined at a later date to see what it was all about. They live hundreds of miles away from me, I have never met them and yet I feel like I know them really well. Harriet lost her mum just over a year ago and then found out she was pregnant. She then found out that the pregnancy was twins and this was about the time that I first came into contact with her. We all followed her pregnancy with great interest and were delighted when she gave birth to two beautiful little girls. My heart went out to her that her mum wasn’t there for her. When my daughter gave birth both times I was there. A girl needs a mother at this time. Each day we kept up to date with how the girls were doing, Scott losing his job, Scott getting a new job, and then silence. Three days with no tweets. It turned out that one of the babies was ill and after rushing her to hospital it transpired that she was extremely ill – meningitis. Once the news broke on Twitter there was a flood of responses. Candles were lit, prayers said, support came from all corners. Naturally Harriet and Scott didn’t have the time or inclination to check Twitter – they just wanted to be with their very ill baby. They didn’t get the chance to eat or sleep properly and, of course, felt guilty and sad at not spending time with her sister. By this week, they were told to say their goodbyes and imprints of her hands and feet were made. They had the girls christened in hospital. I remember getting a text message from Harriet to say the baby wasn’t expected to live the night. Still the messages of support flooded in. A Just Giving account was set up to raise funds for The Meningitis Trust and people asked what they could do in a more practical way to help.
Then suddenly, the baby made some improvement and was taken off sedation to see how she would cope. Within two days, she was being fed by mummy. Today, she has had all of her tubes and wires removed and the hospital is talking about her going home tomorrow. Needless to say, everyone is so excited. Of course, she will need to undergo tests to see if there have been any long-term effects so Harriet and Scott know that she is not completely out of the woods yet. But getting her home with them for endless cuddles and time back with her sister is vitally important to this lovely family.
The point of all this is – for me, this has been a rollercoaster week for emotions, but the goodness of fantastic people have made it bearable and lifted my spirits when things were bad. There are many, many brilliant people out there and I am sending you all a virtual hug for the lovely things you do. For their courage and determination when they didn’t have a shred of energy left, I salute Harriet and Scott and I hope to meet you in person one day. To my two lovely daughters, your love and support is the most precious thing a mum can have. To my husband, I may not always say out loud how I feel but I am so proud of you and your sister and brother for the way you made your mum’s last few weeks so comfortable when inside you were torn apart. And to Hazel – if you can hear this wherever good people go when they leave us here – I couldn’t have asked for a better mother-in-law than you. I hope that you are now back in Joe’s arms where you belong. We will miss you terribly.

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4 responses to “Special People

  1. And that's because you are one of the good guys too, it takes one to know one as the old saying goes. I do agree, Twitter this week has restored my faith in society, strangers connecting to be the real Big Society and it is humbling to see, sharing, praying, helping, …

  2. What a heart felt post. You've moved me to tears. Well done for being such a caring person.

  3. Tears are flowing xx What a beautiful tribute to those named. Totally with you regarding Harriet and Scott. With two very new grandchildren (both younger than Hollie) I could hardly bear to realise Scott and Harriet's anguish. We had staff dealing with bereavement and critical life threatening illness in their families this week. It is my un-named but essential role to see to the pastoral welfare of my colleagues. I have fought those tears, now they flow partly with relief.

  4. Such a loving and candid post that puts all our day-to-day grumbles into perspective. Thank you, Lynda, for voicing so eloquently that which we often forget celebrate: the joy and pride we have in our loved ones and the courage of ordinary people in the face of great adversity. Love and prayers with you and your family as well as Scott, Harriet, Hollie and Alice. x

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