Reflections of a Summer Past (Leila, part 3)Posted on 1st August 2018 by Seb Feast
Leila has been a member of our Neighbourhood Care Scheme since 2011. Her current volunteer has been visiting her weekly since just before Christmas 2017. Here’s the third entry in her regular series, where she shares her thoughts and experiences of the last month — in this case, two.
The Joys of June
June has been a great month weather-wise, with plenty of sunny days and the ice cream van melodically announcing itself twice a day. But my volunteer has had a nervous month. Many hundreds of miles from the UK, her Daughter is caught in an impossible situation. There is no family to look after her and danger around every corner.
I have tried to support my volunteer as much as I can and was delighted when she rang my doorbell to say she could only stay 20 minutes as she had interview to go to with regard to her Daughter. We gave each other the tightest of hugs and she left, happy and nervous at the same time. My volunteer looked tired and frazzled but there was a kind of vibrancy about her, a new lease of energy, positivity and determination written on her face.
All the children in our community seem to be tired too. School is not yet over and everyone looks drained. Nearly time for school holidays! As the days warm up, children come outside to play after school and at weekends. Still, throughout the heat and chaos, my volunteer and I offload to each other about it being too hot to do housework, how it’s too hot to cook and all we want is a new swimming pool, dishwasher, igloo, etc.!
My volunteer made a cuppa and told me she was slowly winning the battle to get her Daughter back. So close now – so painful. Hopefully just one more interview.
I have been mostly bed bound again this month due to my wheelchair needing constant repair. But the weather is beautiful and I remind myself that it is hotter, noisier and more crowded in town. I am quite happy just here in my flat, enjoying the view and my oscillating fan. I ponder on the forces that drive us to never give up, we are determined creatures and usually find something to motivate us. Hope is a very powerful feeling. I hope for a usable wheelchair one day, my volunteer hopes for her Daughter. I am hopeful of a positive outcome for every person who struggles.
As the heatwave continues, I have moved to a new place. It was quite sudden and last minute but went really well. My Sister and Daughter have been amazing, both giving up their free time to make it as stress free as possible. I have a craft call most weeks from a care agency and they helped me to make my new accommodation homely.
My volunteer visited three times this month and has now taken a break for the summer holidays. I hope my volunteer’s Daughter will be reunited with her soon. We are going to keep in phone contact over August but I am sad to see her leave for 6 weeks.
My wheelchair was fixed earlier this month and my Daughter allowed me to take my Granddaughter out to the bottom of our main road by myself to a pop up farm shop. On the way back, my wheelchair tipped up and I found myself stranded near the kerb – in the road with a four year old on my own. Luckily, a woman came to help and managed to get me onto the pavement and I phoned for my Son-in-Law to come and rescue us. My Granddaughter was really good and stayed by my side all the time. We were both shaken up and, alas, my wheelchair is broken again!
My volunteer and I have got lots closer over the last four months and now she is leaving for just over a month. I will miss her cheerfulness and tales of London where she regularly visits. I will miss our “Mum chats” too. I hope she will be okay, she hopes I will be too and we know the other is only a phone call away. Here’s looking forward to a great Summer Holiday and life returning to normal in September!
Thanks for sharing, Leila! More next month. During 2018 we are celebrating 20 years of the Neighbourhood Care Scheme. Find out more here.