Today, for the first time in seven weeks, I had to get up, tart myself up a bit, and go to work. Well, if I’m honest, it wasn’t really work, even though it was very nearly a full day of doing something other than pleasing myself.
It was actually my first shift helping out in the day care centre at the local hospice. I went with some trepidation. Did I know how to deal with very sick people? Am I up to standard re tea making? Without my realising it, Thursday’s are men only days at the day centre, and goodness me, despite their obvious sickness, they were a cheeky bunch.
Some of the time I was standing round like a spare part, but a lot of the time was spent chatting cheerfully, looking at rude jokes on one chaps phone, and playing Rummikub, a game I’ve never played before. We had a lovely lunch, lots of tea, biscuits and cake, and several of the men had aromatherapy sessions. I saw photographs and heard stories. I chatted to the other volunteers and found that despite some age differences we were like-minded. The overall atmosphere was warm and friendly.
One very poorly chap, who spent the day attached to an oxygen machine told me ‘you won’t find a person with a proper serious disease who hasn’t got a sense of humour’ and after today, I can believe it. These were all gentlemen with plenty to be miserable about, but instead of dragging me into the gloom, they brightened my day. It certainly wasn’t work.