The old lady had broken her hip and had some sort of reaction to the prosthesis they had used to fix it. Sadly she had also suffered one or two small strokes that had meant that her stay in hospital had been longer than she’d hoped for. In the end it had been decided that she would be better off moving in with her Daughter and family in Sheffield. She spent most of her time in bed but her grandchildren would sometimes visit after school and sit for a while, though they never stayed for very long as she was always tired and couldn’t follow the conversation well.
Eventually a different, local doctor started to visit her. When he asked about the pictures on the wall, he learned what she really loved to do was to paint. Another time he heard her mention something about birdsong and soon understood that she had never minded her insomnia (and indeed thought it a blessing) as her favourite thing of all was to watch the day begin through the bedroom window. He recognised that she still had a lot to live for, and started to gradually withdraw some of the medication she’d been on since she had been ill.
It was then my Grandmother seemed to wake up. Soon she got out of bed, then eventually out of the house. Though she never went home, she did become a member of the village arts group and started to paint again. More importantly for me, the bedrooms she now permanently occupied in the house became my first point of call after school – where there was always a cup of tea, a piece of cake and a smile. By then I’d decided I wasn’t going to be an engineer after all, but a General Practitioner.
Ben Jackson, GP, Doncaster