Looking out of my window at the garden on a lovely sunny day reminds me of my Dad. He loved the summer, sitting in the back garden with my Mum.
I remember the last summer he was alive. His walking had deteriorated and his Parkinson’s and chest problems were catching up with him.
We got him out in the garden and he sat under the blackberry brambles catching the branches with the hook of his walking stick so my two boys could pick off the berries.
We were in t-shirts but he felt cold and was wearing a jumper, jacket and hat but I remember him looking up and saying how lovely it was to have the sun on his face. I knew then he probably didn’t have another summer, and I think he knew it too, but by then he had learnt to appreciate the small pleasures life offered.
Last night I was chatting to a friend who works in a nursing home and she said the biggest challenge this week will be ensuring everyone in the home stays hydrated. The drinking challenge is on.
It made me think about all those people confined to the inside of nursing homes or their own homes, unable to enjoy the benefits of a sunny day without the help of others. People who don’t get to feel the sun on their faces because there isn’t time to get them up and out.
By virtue of staffing levels and workload we often have our heads down dealing with the physical needs of the chronically sick and those with disability, and it is easy to forget that the simple things make a big difference.
It takes a bit of time and organisation but it is possible.
Yesterday, as my son and I walked to the shops to buy ice-creams, we passed a group of carers and people with learning disabilities doing the exact same thing.
We were all sharing the same pleasure and anticipation that an unexpected sunny evening brings, and if we need a clinical focus for this blog, we were topping up our vitamin D levels at the same time.