I spent today whizzing between two very different worlds. One, filled with school runs, lost swimming costumes and the daily conversation about ‘why biscuits are not really suitable for breakfast – but just this once,’ (again) and the other punctuated by hospital visits, hand gel, and worry with a trip to a trusty, rusty battleship of a hospital.
I came away with a couple of thoughts.
My first was how very very lucky we are to have the NHS. Where would we be without it?
My second was that the cafe at the Royal Brompton Hopital must in itself be responsible for healing many a battered emotional heart. Over the last two months I have sat and sighed, laughed and sobbed there as I watched (and am watching) my beloved brother and his wife cope with the challenges thrown at them and their seven week old baby. The cafe in the entrance seems to be the hub of the hospital – a meeting place for doctors, nurses and families. Every new piece of information received, every test result back and every operation successfully completed comes with a cup of tea and a piece of cake, as if the very act of sitting in a civilised way might make the things we are discussing seem less terrifying. I keep wanting to thank the lovely couple who run the cafe, but as I go to say the words, my eyes prick with tears and I swallow them back down again, in the fear of making an utter fool of myself and howling right then and there. So thank you for my tea and reassurance – the difference you make to my day is enormous and I am truly grateful.