The Streets of London

“So how can you tell me you’re lonely,
And say for you that the sun don’t shine?
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London
I’ll show you something to make you change your mind “

This is the chorus from Ralph McTell’s song The Streets of London”.  

This is one of those songs that remind us just how lucky we are.  Oh, we all have something about which to complain but unless one is battling a life-threatening or terminating illness, put alongside those who are homeless and without any hope that things will improve, they really are minor.

If you follow my blog you will know that, until I came to live with my partner (the Architect), Thursday was always Mary Potter Hospice day.  Once a week I volunteered and helped serve lunch to the patients or should we now call them clients?

All these patients were battling terminal illness but in the years that I volunteered there,  I only met one person who was rude and ungrateful for the care he was receiving from the dedicated staff.  Of course, it was understood by everyone why he was like this at the time.  And his charming wife told us that he was never rude before coming into the Hospice.  Apparently, he was a gregarious, lovely fellow who was finding it difficult to come to terms with what was happening to him.

And then recently, I experienced the other side of the service the hospice offers.  My partner, dying from a brain tumour, was transferred to Te Omanga Hospice close to where we live.  And what an amazing place that it.  The love, care and attention showered upon us both was absolutely unbelievable.  Nothing was too much trouble for any of the staff.  Cups of tea in the early hours of the morning; a friendly ear to listen when it all became too much for me; food brought to me even though I didn’t want to eat and in all an outpouring of love to help me when the inevitable time came for the Architect to leave this world. And when that day came, the love was showered on our families.

So if today in your travels, you come across an abrupt, grumpy person, give them a smile.  We don’t know what demons they are battling in their lives and maybe a smile will help them.

“If you’re reading this…
Congratulations, you’re alive.
If that’s not something to smile about,
then I don’t know what is.”
Chad Sugg, –  Monsters Under Your Head


12 responses to “The Streets of London

  1. How very personal it must have felt to experience hospice caring after years of delivering that care. Sending hugs and love dear Judith!


  2. Yes, smile! I have issues that I do not care to share but I am grateful for today. You are always such an inspiration, Judith!


  3. Thank you friend for your comment. I hope your issues become manageable.


  4. I do my share of complaining but usually end up laughing at myself. I have a good life…not perfect but good. My heart hurts for those who have a life of never ending struggles. They have a right to be grumpy I do not.


  5. How wonderful that there are places for people suffering and people to be kind to them. You have experienced both sides of this care, giving and receiving. Bless you.


  6. I’m glad to hear you were well taken care of by the hospice workers. That’s one tough job, and takes a special person to do it. You have been the giver and the recipient. Hugs.


  7. I clicked on this post … was drawn to it because of the title; it’s one of my absolute favourite songs.

    They do wonderful work, the people working in hospices.


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