Thankfully we seem to have come through the worst of the Covid crisis, but I must admit to feeling some weird regret because the breakthrough means seeing less of my clients as they are able to get around and collect their own prescriptions, go shopping etc...
One of the reasons I joined the NHS and the Buddies was my innate desire to help others, though I've always been of the opinion that help should be given to others not just when they need it most and immediately, but also longer-term. In other words, I suppose sustainability of charity. It delights me, therefore, that some of the clients I've looked after during the three different lockdowns genuinely want to keep in touch. One particular couple in Wistaston whom I affectionately knew as Darby and Joan, sent me the following words via email... "We have been so grateful for your help over many months and we will never forget about you. Please don't stop visiting us."
I won't. These are very special people. Not least because they bought a copy of my book and what's more said they enjoyed it!
An elderly client in Acton whom I will call Cynthia said, "Mark you have been my shining light through these dark times." I was obviously touched by this moving and poetic eulogy. Cynthia never bought my book, but always promised she'd get round to it eventually!
Look, I'm joking about the book thing, I don't have a mercenary bone in my body. The only remuneration I've sought through all my acts of charity has been the sheer delight in seeing my clients' faces light up when they saw me darken their door. I will never forget that, and will indeed keep the light lit longer-term. As another couple from Nantwich said...
"Mark thank you for all you have done for us; we couldn't have got through this without your kindness. We will soon be able to invite you to sit in our garden and have some tea and cake. Hopefully, we will remain lifelong friends."
Tea and cake? Well, there's nothing mercenary about accepting that particular invitation. And as for lifelong friends, well you can't get much more long-term than that!
What no book?
Mark sporting our fetching pink Nantwich Buddies vest in town (in between lock-downs)