At this time of national crisis I look out of my window and wonder what the future will hold, and yet I am not worried as I know that this country has a backbone of steel and that steel is found in every person who willingly goes out of their front door and into what is in effect the lion’s den that Daniel faced. Never in the history of this country would I have ever have thought that cleaners, store workers, delivery men, truck drivers, bin men, postmen, bus drivers and janitors are heroes, as I grew up in a military family and was always told that being military is what is meant by having a British backbone of steel but like most I have been truly humbled and I must admit my bias here as my son in law who I take the micky out of something chronic is a janitor and he is doing his part to keep this country going. We know we have a special unique police force and military who in times of crisis perform to their very best but this is about those unsung heroes who we see every day.
It must have been very daunting for him to join this family as he has a mother in law, and 2 father in laws who were all Army and both my husband and my daughter’s father served 22 years in the Army ( as well as grandfather in law and 4 maternal uncles in law who all served), and I always took immense pride in seeing commendations with my husbands name on for his service in Gulf War 1….yet my son in law is going out to fight an enemy he cannot see, an enemy who does not leave a trail of building destruction, yet it devastates at will and who chooses its next victim at random from a mere contact and it doesn’t care what religion you are, what colour you are and how wealthy you are. You do not know if you will get it from a door handle or just going for a pint of milk…yet my son in law goes out and I know he has done what is expected of him just as we did….but he has done it with the same cheeky smile he always does it with, so I guess my micky taking will have to be a light from now on….but only for a while.
We are not surprised when our NHS stands up to the plate as many years ago when I was making the decision as to what career I wanted to do, I knew I did not have what it takes to be a nurse or a doctor as it takes a special person to disregard their own lives to help strangers. I know that soldiers act with valour and more often than not it is to save a friend, a colleague but I cannot begin to imagine a random stranger walking in and my knowing that they have a virus that could harm me, yet not flinching as they have a job and passion to do. I don’t think I will ever complain again at a wait in A&E and lets say it for what they are….angels with compassion.
I have many friends who work in the NHS and in retail, and one of my friends is currently making sure that everyone has access to fresh fruit and vegetables as he knows better than anyone that we need to stay healthy. I have a very special friend Lynette who I have known for some 40 years now from being childhood friends and who walks out of her home everyday to go and work in Asda to make sure that people like me can eat. I just hope and pray that everyday is kind to her, and those other school friends who work in the NHS stay safe as we have nothing to offer but our gratitude, and hopefully the world will not take them for granted anymore as it is not the wealthy who are saving us but those on minimum wage who work long hours just to put food on their table. We are very lucky to have them.
I have discovered that it is easy to pick up a phone and ring everyone that matters to me and mum is now on speed dial, as is my son who I worry about daily, and am even getting good at the magic of skype and today infact I am going to help my eldest grandson with his homework on Richard III, and for me life is going along normal as other than taking the dog out I pretty much spent all my time at home due to the work I do and had self-isolation before it came in…..but I know my grandchildren will be worried about their dad and we try to keep the conservation fun….but they will look back at this one day in the future and realise that whilst they had heroes in the military side of their mum’s family, they also had a hero in their dad and their mum who carries on as normal despite the worry as we often forget the partner left at home who must be fraught with worry that their other half could be subject to abuse, exhaustion or god forbid bring the virus home and yet they know there is a job to do so bless them too.
When the world is the right way up and we can finally walk out into this world take time out to thank your binmen (I give chocolates to mine at Christmas) but think I will be doing it more often, or thank you to the postman (mine by the way loves my home made brownies…so extra ones for him), and send your friends who are going out in this world a message at how proud you are of them and how it is your honour to know them….just say thank you and keep saying thank you as without them there could be no us.
I know that when the dust settles I will give my son in law that slap on the back on say Adam you did good son……