Family Ties…

It was one of those calls you always fear…but fortunately don’t happen very often. It was last Sunday morning when the phone rang at home. It was my younger sister – my father had fallen that morning and had broken his hip. He was in hospital. He was OK; in pain, but otherwise he seemed fine. My mother – who he looks after – was very upset but OK.
My parents and my sister (and her family) live in the north of England – some 300 miles away from us.  Amazingly enough – my dad was already scheduled have a hip replacement operation that afternoon.
My mind raced. In the next few minutes I must have imagined every possible scenario of how the day could play out. Eventually I realised none of this was helping me. And none of it would have any bearing on what would happen with my dad. I went to find my wife to tell her what had happened. I hugged her first (a bit of a surprise); told her; she hugged me; and I felt better.
We started to work out what we were going to do. I was due to be in Germany last week, flying on Monday. That seemed the least likely and most unhelpful action I could take. However Sunday played out, I knew I wanted to go and visit both my parents in the week. I cancelled Germany.
We told my son and called my daughter. They were also very worried but they were also both amazingly helpful. I felt better talking and listening to them.  There wasn’t much else I could do Sunday. Other than wait. I knew my older sister had also gone to be there with my dad, and mum and younger sister. I felt guilty that I wasn’t there. Guilt is a very strong emotion…but it never helps. I felt reassured both my sisters were there. I kept busy doing normal Sunday things. Waiting.
The message that everything had gone well with the operation came through late afternoon. New hip in place. Patient back in ward. Asleep. Relief. I hugged my wife. Told her the news. Told my son and called my daughter. Told them the good news. The end of the day. None of the scenarios I imagined that morning had come to pass. I felt so relieved about my dad. I felt so proud about my family.
The week since has been a bit of a blur. I drove a lot. I talked a lot. I drank a lot of coffee. I slept a little (possibly related to the coffee). I told everyone I spoke with. Everyone was very understanding and incredibly supportive. And very helpful. I heard stories about hip replacements…about parents being unwell…about families… about work…and about work-life balance.
I visited my father mid-week. He was doing well. He was tired and hungry. NHS care and rehabilitation is superb. NHS food is not. He was bored and inquisitive. We had to work out what would happen when he comes out. My parent’s current home won’t work – too many stairs and not enough bathrooms. By Thursday we had a plan involving care and accommodation.
At the end of the week, my dad was feeling much better. I was so pleased I had visited. I was so pleased he was feeling better. It’s not done and dusted yet, but so far so good.
The family – my family, my brother, my sisters, their families – have been there for each other and have been there for my parents. A word here. Or there.  A hug. A kiss. I am so lucky. I wanted to tell them.


About Steve Street

I have worked in R&D within the Pharmaceutical industry for over 30 years. Up until April 2012 all of my career had been with one company, but that has now changed. I left that company and took up a new role on May 1, 2012 - still very much within the Pharmaceutical industry and again based in the UK. I have been blogging every week now for over 10 years but only on an external site since January 2012. Email updates of the blogs can be requested using the ‘follow’ option within Wordpress. The blogs are only ever my personal view of what I see, think and feel. I am delighted if you agree and find value; happy if you disagree with my views and overjoyed if you feel motivated to comment. Most of all I am simply grateful that you read. Cheers Steve
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4 Responses to Family Ties…

  1. Marie-Claire Peakman says:

    So sorry to read about your Dad, Steve. I hope he and the whole family are doing better. Sending love and prayers M-C

    • Steve Street says:


      Great to hear from you and I so much appreciate your message. My father is doing much better – he was discharged at the end of the week and he and my mum are now together again in a care home whilst my dad recovers and regains his mobility. They are so happy and we are so relieved.

      Take care and thanks again


  2. Earl Major says:

    Dear Steve,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you look after your Dad. Take good care of him. Because he had a hand in creating you, he truly must be something special.


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