The other day saw me in early morning by Stanley Park lake. I was sat on one of those benches bearing tributes to loved ones and also thinking of nearest and dearest.
My wife was having an operation and I was awaiting a call to return to hospital.
She Who Knows and I have recently celebrating our wedding anniversary. The day was also her birthday - chosen, perhaps, so I couldn’t forget. Dates and years involved are a matter of almost military secrecy.
We got married, incidentally, on my midweek day off work at a discreet, no-fuss ceremony as she wished. She also likes to pack a lot into her days so, with an afternoon wedding, in the morning we went as usual to our indoor tennis session at Bamber Bridge.
Next day a colleague asked if I’d had a good day off. “Yes thanks,” I said, “played tennis in the morning; got married in the afternoon.” Her face was a picture.
At our recent anniversary I was reminded of our vow ‘in sickness and in health’. She Who joked she now had a new hobby, consulting doctors and having operations. She’s had feet and hands ‘done’ in the past, a shoulder op, is currently having cataracts seen to and there’s talk of elbow surgery.
My role is driver and care assistant, though also having lesser health concerns of my own. We now know staff at health centre and wards so well we’re expecting invitations to Christmas parties.
Fortunately, when my call from hospital came all was well. After those Christmas parties, I’ll look forward to the other part of our vow – being ‘in health’. The new year also reminds us what is most sustaining of all - a spirit of goodwill. Even if, in my case, it was just to sit a few minutes giving thanks on a lakeside bench.
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