Thoughts for the Month

FEBRUARY

 

For the last three weeks I have been in London ‘looking after’ my daughter who has had surgery – a hip replacement at the age of 45… very young for such a procedure. Living alone, apart from her precious dog who really was not able to be much help, she needed someone to give a helping hand – and who better than ‘Mum.’

Having had two hips and a knee replacement myself, I am well aware of the problems that arise after surgery, so I was very happy to go and help.

‘Could you; would you; can you’ were frequent requests. Meals were cooked, washing done, shopping bought (although the main shop was delivered and the previous plastic bags collected,) feeding the dog, (a friend took her out for walks, thankfully) and daily help with showering filled my day leaving little or rather no time for writing the ‘Thoughts for the Month’ and Annual Report.

The last few days of my stay were SPENT organising procedures to enable my daughter to do things for herself but, on my return home, I received messages each day saying, ‘I do miss you, Mum.’ Good to know I didn’t overstay my welcome.

Now, please don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mind being with her, in fact it was a real pleasure to spend so much time with my daughter and be able to help her, but it did hit home to me, what do people who have no close member of the family to help, what do they do?

Now, I know a ‘care’ package can be organised – someone comes in to get you up, looks in at lunchtime maybe, and again at bedtime, but it’s all that time between those visits when a drink made, something fetched, something picked up that has been dropped and has rolled underneath a piece of furniture or just someone to chat to or give you a hug would make such a difference. Days in hospital and on discharge seem endless when you are not able to do much for yourself.

While I was away, several times, my husband texted me to say he was lonely – hadn’t spoken to anyone for twenty four hours – now, I know the weather wasn’t very good but he is fit and healthy and could have gone out to the pub or walked in to town or met someone for coffee, but what about those who live alone and are NOT able to go out, and are hemmed in by four walls day after day? Shouldn’t we be much more aware of those around us who are lonely, who need a bit of social contact, who need someone to talk to, who need a helping hand?

One of the problems is that ‘out of sight, out of mind.’

How often have we read or heard on the radio or television that someone was found in a critical condition or having died days previously in their home?

How often have we said, ‘How did nobody know? or ‘If only we’d known….. ?’ But, is that good enough? Shouldn’t we consciously be looking at properties around us and saying, ‘Who lives there? Is there anything we could do to help? Alternatively, we could say, ‘I have an hour or two hours a week that I could give – how can I best use it?’

The majority of us are very fortunate – we have families, we have friends who we could ask for help but we must not only remember but search out those who are alone and who do not have someone to whom they can turn.

May we be true friends to those in need whether we know them or not.

‘Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.’    (Hebrews Ch. 4 v 16)