My wife’s 88 year old aunt lost her husband in late 2016. Since then she too has fallen terribly ill. She has been in and out of hospital for over a year.
Certainly not a tourist attraction, but one of life's necessities: the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead. We visited an ill – 80-something – aunt there last evening.🇬🇧🏥📸 . She's improving after being near death several weeks ago.🚑There was a nursing shift change in progress while we were at her bedside. The new staff came around to see her.👩🏻⚕️👩🏽⚕️👩⚕️ . "They are all so lovely," she said after they had lightheartedly spoken with her – and momentarily with us – and moved on. "Many of them are foreign, too, Robert." . "I gathered that," I replied. "Geez," – I added, smiled and whispered to her – "foreigners are everywhere nowadays…"🌎 . Speaking as a "foreigner" myself, too, of course.🇺🇸😜(Which got a laugh out of her when she realized my point.)😂😂😂 . Have a good day, wherever you are.😊 . #London #NHS #RoyalFree #hospital #health #travel #photo #photography #nurses #family #humor #humour #expats #expatlife #Americans #NewYorker #writers #writing #authors #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #travelblogger #blog #blogger #Hertfordshire #England
She is now largely confined to her London home. Council carers come in twice a day. Her son usually also makes a daily appearance.
Many in her situation would probably stare at television all day, but not she. As long as I have known her (nearly 20 years now), she has been a novel reader. Apparently she reads now more than ever; whenever we have visited her over this difficult last year and a half (despite her own numerous problems, she invariably asks me how my dad is coping: “I know he misses your mum…”), beaten-up paperbacks have been stacked up half a dozen high next to her bed, which is now in her lounge as it is no longer easy for her to walk upstairs.
My wife suggested to me back in the autumn that her aunt might like to read Conventions. But I wasn’t entirely sure. However, pre-Christmas, without warning I decided just to send her a paperback and a short note.