I find Monday an exciting and engaging day. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Monday is my favourite day of the week, but I get up in the morning energised for what’s in front of me. Weekends are an opportunity to take stock on what is happening, and inevitably Monday is my first chance to test out some of those ideas. Some work, some don’t, and some I abandon the moment I mention them to anyone!
Last Monday morning I felt nervous. I had taken the day off work to go and visit my parents and my sister. In many ways it was like any other Monday – a series of important meetings. I didn’t know for sure what was going to happen. But I knew a positive set of outcomes was really important for me. I also knew I’d thought about Monday for most of the weekend. In my heart I knew I would be good whatever happened, but my mind was racing…and as it raced my nervousness increased.
I hadn’t seen my parents for a little while, and although telephone conversations are good, they are never as good as meeting in person. I also had heard a great deal from my sisters and brother, but today it was me.
It’s nearly a year since my father fell and broke his hip – a major injury for anyone let alone someone nearly thirty years older than me. My nervousness was unfounded. His recovery is so good. He was so much more mobile and so much steadier than the last time I saw him. A combination of rapid and quality surgery the day he broke his hip, plus medication, plus physiotherapy, plus his determination, plus good diet, plus hard work, plus love and care and affection.
I took him out for the morning. We went to a nearby football stadium – a team he has supported all his life. We signed up for the guided tour and museum visit. We had a great time together. The stadium tour was very interesting – everything seemed much smaller and more basic than I imagined for a top flight professional team. But hearing my dad’s stories of when he used to come and watch – and which players he used to watch – some seventy years ago was amazing.
We had lunch out together before I took him home. My mum was never into football. Instead we sat together through the afternoon and watched old films on TV, holding hands, chatting, drinking tea (well coffee in my case) and dunking biscuits. Totally different from my morning but still so enjoyable and totally memorable.
I decided it was time to go and visit my sister when I realised my mum and I were both falling asleep sitting there – warm rooms and old films have that effect. But before I set off I gave them each a big hug, a little kiss, and told them how proud I was of them both and how much I loved them.
My sister is amazing. She has made such a difference to my parents this year. My elder sister and younger brother are also amazing, but like me they don’t live as close to my parents. My younger sister has been there and is there. She has made such a difference to us all. She has helped, advised, supported, decided, cared and loved.
People always make a difference. Individuals make a difference. In any situation – in work, at home, with friends or in families.
Last Monday morning I felt nervous. But I wasn’t worried. They are my parents. She is my sister.