What I am about to write here is not really a very good post. You might say, that none of it is any of my business, but I want to get it off my chest, because the whole thing is making me very sad.
One of my old ladies had what she and others like her would call 'a bit of a turn', probably a small stroke.
Her 88 year old husband called the ambulance and she was promptly taken to hospital.
This is where it gets complicated.
Let's call the old lady Margaret and the husband Richard. Richard was due to go on a trip to Europe with a younger friend of his within two days of Margaret being taken ill. Margaret, who has not been well for some time, was due to spend the time of his absence with her daughter, who lives in another part of the UK.
Margaret falling ill was really most inconvenient and she upset a lot of plans.
Margaret has other family living in the valley, nieces and great nieces, who have been very good to Margaret's sister during her last years. Margaret's sister had no children to look after her and the nieces more or less took over. Margaret's sister had let it be known that she had made a will in which she would thank them for their kindness towards her.
Margaret and Richard have two children, a daughter and son, both living a long way away.
With Margaret taken care of in hospital, Richard decided he would stick to his plan and go on holiday.
The evening before he left, he rang round a few kind ladies living in Valley's End and asked them to visit Margaret in whatever hospital - there are several possibilities after the acute stage is over - she would find herself. Margaret's and Richards's daughter, who had been called to come over for the emergency, also left again for home and work.
The nieces decided they couldn't possibly do for Margaret what they had done for Margaret's sister.
Which left the three kind ladies, who got in a huddle and debated what to do. Nobody had been left in charge. The three kind ladies had no idea what, if anything, Margaret had taken into hospital with her, whether she had clothes and underwear available, simple things like soap, towels, tissues, etc.
In the end it was left to the three kind ladies to find out these things. They got in touch with the daughter and the hospital - who were rather curt and unwilling to give out information to strangers.
Finding out where Margaret was, what needed doing and getting permission from the daughter to do it, all took time.
Margaret was admitted on Friday, husband and daughter had left her by Sunday. The following Wednesday the first of the three kind ladies finally managed to visit her in hospital.
She found Margaret much improved, but desperate for company, and for all the small bits and pieces that make a stay in hospital bearable. Luckily, the kind ladies being practical souls, had anticipated Margaret's needs and were able to supply everything necessary.
None of this is any of my business, it's family business, nobody else's. Nobody was ill treated, nobody was seriously neglected. The daughter will be back at the weekend and the niece has actually relented and paid a visit herself since.
And yet . . . . . . .
I am one of the three kind ladies. Even though we don't want to sit in judgement, we can't help but feel
a little sad.
Do you understand why?