AGE DUNNA COUNT
Kindness is so easy.
Visiting Dear Daughts in hospital today for a routine gall bladder procedure. A woman, I’ll call her Jane Doe, is in the other bed in the ward, suffering from a really intense gastric infection. She’s seriously obese. She’s gorgeous. She’s sad. She’s alone for ages and not talking to anyone. Eating the crappy whatever-it-is that passes for a sandwich.
Daughts is so lovely and made Jane smile. Laugh. When I came to visit, daughter and I clowned around a bit, drank coffee, chatted and included Jane. She an I got talking. She has Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some kind of helplessness I don’t know about. She has a husband, and her two 30-something year old daughters just moved back home. They expect mom to cook and clean and go back to the way things were before they moved out, and had husbands.
We asked why, when they’re grown-ups? Jane shrugged. She was APOLOGETIC like what could she do, it must be her fault.
Jane said she couldn’t stomach food (hospital food, DISGUSTING) and could not shift the weight of years. I chatted on a bit about giving up grains and sugar. What they do to us. How they harm us.
I asked how old she was. “I’m 64,” she said, embarrassed, like it is a thing to be ashamed of.
“Hey,” I smiled, “I’m 66.”
Her mouth fell open.
“Darling,” I said, “You can get better… a bit… Are you feeding the others?”
“Yes,” she said, “but I can’t just have one Tim Tam. I have to eat the lot. I don’t know how to stop. don’t want to be like this.”
“How long you think you’ll be in hospital?” I asked.
“I’m here for a week, I think. This is like a hotel to me. How do you look the way you do?”
And then her husband came. He was supposed to bring her the roast veggies her daughters had cooked. He forgot. He complained about the traffic, the weather, their kids, his job, having to come and visit. She tried to placate him. SHE’S THE ONE WHO’S SICK!!!
So. Back to Dear Daughts for a moment. Gall bladder. Forget the fats. Got to make light. Her housemate brought her their homemade, chicken and ginger soup. I made soup also, chestnut pumpkin with rosemary and Himalayan pink salt. I dry roasted some of it with dukkah.
We both fed a bit to Jane, who had never tasted anything as good. She left the hospital sandwich untouched on her tray. Between yesterday and tonight she had totally perked up. Laughed with strangers. Known delicious food.
Be kind. Make kind and caring food. Love one another. Make chestnut pumpkin soup and hug your children but don’t clean up their crap. Age dunna count, we can always turn life around.