Friday, 20 April 2007

Precious memories.........and road pricing

Yesterday, Thursday, was a somewhat strange day. My mind was swirling with mixed up thoughts and emotions. I'm finding this a little hard going today. After my day out on Tuesday my whole body is screaming at fingers are burning and swollen and feel as though they don't belong to me.
First of all it was a day of happy memories tinged with sadness. It would have been my second son's 35th birthday. Matthew died 17 years ago in 1990 after an 18 month battle with leukemia. He was what everyone called a very likable lad. Full of fun, mischievous, with an infectious laugh, and ready to help anyone that needed laid back that he was almost horizontal. He had many friends, and I can honestly say that I have never come across anyone who knew him that didn't like him. He loved his football and cricket and put all his energy into enjoying everything that he did. Every one he met was drawn to him....especially young children and even cats and dogs. I have known him to bring home a few strays over the years. Matthew is never far from my thoughts..but it is on days like these that I miss him the most. I consider myself lucky that I was allowed 18 years with him.....18 years of happy memories that no one can take away. The picture above is of Matthew and his fiancee Debbie, the last one that was taken of him. ( Debbie incidentally became my daughter-in-law when 7 years later she and son number 3, Ian, were married). It was his birthday and the hospital had allowed him home for just 24 hours. He was surrounded by his family and a little drunk...and even his doctors and nursing staff managed to attend part of the celebrations. The day was tinged with a little sadness as we all knew that it would be his last birthday. Indeed the doctors had not expected him to make it through Christmas, let alone his birthday. Matthew died the following June. There is so much more I could say about Matthew...but I will leave it there...he will always remain in my heart, never forgotten...always loved.

Every other Thursday a family friend takes myself, my eldest son (who is himself disabled) and his other half shopping to a freezer food shop. This is the only time I get to do actual shopping. Most of the time I have to rely on home deliveries or paying high prices at local convenience stores. Now this brings several points to my sometimes overloaded brain. One of them is the carbon footprint issue. My son worked out that by making this trip every other week costs the friend an extra 12 pence more than it would if he went alone. That makes me feel OK...that I'm doing my bit for the planet. If the planned road pricing comes into affect how will that affect the cost of this journey?? That is yet to be worked out. How will it affect the cost of online shopping? Has anyone even thought about that? There are a lot of elderly/disabled who rely totally on this service. Will such services be exempt from the proposed measures....and if not will the extra cost incurred by the company be passed on to the consumer, many of whom are on low incomes/state benefits.
Now as anyone with any common sense knows, it is important for anyone who has not got good health to try and eat as well as possible. Preferably fresh, good quality food. Again this has to be balanced with the availability of these foods, the cost, and being able to access them. Road pricing will mean that vulnerable groups will find it even harder than it is at present to be able to do this. This will mean that they are putting their health at even greater risk, and more strain on the national health service, (not that M.E. patients get much from that). I believe that it is not just the elderly/disabled who will be affected....low income families and people who rely on public transport will also feel the effects. Lots to consider and as yet some unanswered questions. There..I'll get off my soap box now!

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