Monday, February 08, 2016

Thought for the Day

A few years ago I was a guest at a Hindu wedding. I had many experiences that day which were utterly new. I loved it.

One thing will live long with me. A moment during the reception. Not the finest vegetarian curry I have eaten. Not the colourful table settings. No. It was that the three oldest women in the room were mentioned by name and stood to receive acknowledgement. It was lovely. The families had gathered from all over the world. It was clear that it might be the last chance to meet some, or all, of these women. The applause was simply for longevity. I liked the sense of respect that suggested. As we've heard. Some of our great grandmothers were war heroes.

Having faced the decision of arranging my own mother's residential care recently I am very aware of the hardship of finding the right place. I also have the greatest respect for those who keep elderly, or sick children, loved ones close by, in the family, until it is no longer safe.

So respite help is fabulous. A chance to take a break from being a full-time carer. Yet we hear that the provision of such care varies around the region. It's a problem. We want decisions taken as locally as possible but we don't want a postcode lottery on health matters. We can have clone towns or specialisation. But probably not both. Which do we want?

The great prophet and king, Solomon, was praised for asking God for a double portion of wisdom. We too pray for wisdom.

Also in the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Old Testament, it says that 'Grey hair is a crown of splendour; a sign of a righteous life.' Mine's taking a while to change.

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