Lilian’s Final Protest
I realise that, at 88 years old, I was getting a bit long in the tooth to be protesting, especially by climbing up a ladder and spray painting the side wall of the corner shop. Fed up with the ‘black/white lives matter’ nonsense (obviously all lives matter) I was adding my own view by painting ‘Old Lives Matter’ on the wall.
Just as I was putting the finishing touches to the ‘r’ a car behind me honked its horn. I jumped, and turned round, the walker overbalanced, and here I am in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with a broken hip and battered face. Talk about wearing gloves to stop leaving any DNA! I left plenty of blood and skin cells, and was still holding the spray can when the ambulance arrived.
It’s not all bad, though. No one is pressing charges, my hip needed replacing anyway – been on the list for months, and everyone is being very kind to me. I’m a bit of a local celebrity. Jordan, the young man who was in the car with his brother, managed to take a photo of me before Jackson hooted his horn. That photo, and one of me being stretchered into the ambulance, has been in the local paper, and on TV. I’m the ‘Old Lives Matter’ lady!
I’ve had loads of calls and gifts from well wishers. Not many visitors as it’s still ‘family only, one visitor per time slot’, but Keith drove down from Aberdeen to visit, so that was nice. Haven’t seen him in ages. I even got a card from Sir Captain Tom. Imagine that!
I’m getting out of here on Monday. They won’t let me go home as I will find it difficult to cope with the stairs until my hip is stronger. I’m going to ‘The Gables’ care home. It’s a lovely place according to the social worker. Couldn’t bear the thought of going to ‘Parklands’ where my Bill spent his last weeks.
“Morning, Lilian. It’s another beautiful day. Did you sleep well, Lovie?”
“Not too bad, mustn’t grumble.”
“You never do, Lilian, but some of them others ….” Amy’s one of the senior carers in the home. She always has a smile on her face. So do the others. I don’t know how they do it. Caring for us old ‘uns all day long, for a pittance. The last few months have been hard for them, and I know they lost a few residents in the early days. They must have been worried sick about taking the virus back to their own families. Been Covid free for weeks now though, thank goodness. I’m quite enjoying my stay. It’s almost like staying in a very solicitous hotel, and I’m getting to know some of the others.
The hardest thing for most of the elderly people in here is that they can’t enjoy visits like they used to. Elizabeth’s husband used to visit every day and have morning coffee with her. Now he has to book a half hour slot once a week and that is cancelled if it rains as they have to meet outside. She’s worrying about the winter time. Will she ever get to see her Robert? Some of the dementia sufferers won’t remember their loved ones if they don’t see them regularly. Michael used to enjoy a daily walk with one of his family but now he’s not allowed out. I realise that it is not the fault of the managers here, but I wonder if people know what is happening in care homes around the country. Boris seems to have forgotten us.
Art and Craft class that morning gave me an idea. I asked if I could take a few sheets of paper and pens so that I could work on perfecting my still life drawing. After tea I sat with Elizabeth at a table in a quiet corner of the lounge. When I explained what I wanted to do she was delighted to lend a hand. By bedtime we had six signs ready –
We Need Visitors
Let us Meet
We are not prisoners
A visit a day keeps the Doctor away
Dying for a visit
Breakfast time tomorrow morning should be interesting! Hope someone has their camera/phone ready.
I fall asleep with a smile on my face. Bill would be so proud of me.