Sometimes you have to live through the sort of week which you would gladly wish on your worst enemy, just so you yourself didn't have to see another day of it.
And then something reminds you that in the midst of all the chaos, stress, doom and gloom there is always someone stepping up to the plate and saying: "I'll help" and nothing is quite as bad as you feared.
Thursday to Thursday has been difficult for us. Firstly, I fell ill quite suddenly and was admitted to hospital as an emergency patient. I was discharged again in the evening, but feeling rather weak and quite unable to take Beloved to the same hospital, which is about an hour's drive from home, the next day, Friday. He had an appointment to see a skin cancer specialist to assess a large and fairly deep squamous cell carcinoma on his back; not an appointment we wanted to postpone. He can no longer drive such distances because of his poor eyesight, so up stepped a Good Samaritan friend and said "I'll take him, you stay at home and rest".
I spent most of the weekend resting and felt much more myself by Monday, when the large fridge-freezer in the kitchen decided it had had enough and wilted and died. Luckily I noticed early enough that something was wrong and was able to rescue most of the frozen food and stuff it into the scullery freezer. But I don't have another fridge; butter, eggs, milk, yogurts, cheese, and all the stuff you normally never think twice about was disintegrating. "I'll take it and put it into my fridge for the moment", said a Good Samaritan, again saving the day.
Beloved and I went out and panic-bought a fridge-freezer replacement in an ordinary white goods shop, not one of the massive multiples, but one in the next little town. They delivered the next morning. Once it was sitting in its space and the delivery man had gone, I realised that its domed door made it quite awkward to get at and stick out into the room. I rang the shop and threw myself on their mercy. "Of course, we'll fetch it back. We'll lend you a small reconditioned fridge out of the shop and perhaps measure the space more carefully and together we'll find a fridge-freezer to suit."
They were to collect the replacement apparatus, a huge thing, and leave me with a small fridge on Wednesday morning. As this was also the day for Beloved's second, long-awaited, cataract operation at the day surgery clinic, we were rather pushed for time. Benno was also a problem, his arthritic joints make him slow and a liability on a long day out. I felt I had quite enough on my hands already. Good Samaritans all round stepped forward: "Yes, of course we can come early; what time will you have to leave home at the latest?" said the delivery man from the white goods shop. And "yes, I'll take Benno for the day, and I'll see to it that the fridge is switched on in time for it to be cold enough for you to come home to fresh milk for your tea", said a good friend.
And today my cleaning girl stepped up and gave the house an extra going-over so I could look after Beloved, instead of having to get through a week's worth of household chores.
The cataract operation went well, we have a date for the skin cancer operation in three week's time and the white goods shop is exploring the possibilities of supplying me with a replacement fridge-freezer as close to the one I had before as they can.