• Maria Hastings

Broken Bones, Tip Trips, Pink Ribbons and the Big Purple one

I think It's good to believe in something .

Imagine living on the planet without hope of the existence of some higher being watching your back , checking you over, and always ready to pick you up when you fall; a gentle whispered warning in your ear, guiding you to make good choices ( which you can choose to ignore or indeed listen to and act upon) as you are about to make yet another disastrous life decision , driving off into the sunset with yet another unsuitable human, or drinking the last dregs from the bottle, letting you friend have the last Big Purple quality street whilst you settle for the orange cream YUK , or perhaps losing all hope that you will survive this bloody mountain of a challenge before you .

As I sat in the GP waiting room contemplating this & waiting to see a GP and trying to ignore the smell of old people and desperation which clung in the air, my mind wondered back to a day 3 months earlier .

It was a Friday night on a bank holiday and I'd got a call telling me my mum had fallen down the stairs in her home ; literally from top to bottom, (the ladies In my family are made from sturdy stuff and we never do anything by halves) . Her leg hadn't just broken it had 'smashed' as quoted by the A&E consultant 'into 30 pieces' - does the human leg even have the capacity to smash into 30 pieces ? - Anyway, it was a pretty bad break and on that Friday night in March as she was whisked away in an ambulance I'd driven to her home to collect my dad and his dog and they would come and live with me for the next nine months.

A joint decision was made to sell my parents home of 49 years and , as luck would have it, the old house sold in one day . Then began the mammoth task of clearing out their house of its contents; 49 years worth of old gardening equipment, a loft crammed full with unwanted stuff, furniture, clothes, crockery.. . We saved the things they wanted to keep and had to dispose of the rest & there were times when we thought the trips to the local tip would never end .

I remember clearing out their bedroom, rifling through their personal stuff didn't seem right but had to be done if we were to continue with our plan to move them nearer to us and their grandchildren and set them on the right road to having a happier and easier life and more contented life. As I was sorting through the drawers in my mum's dressing table I found a pink ribboned broach, the sort you see promoting a charity and carefully embossed on the ribbon were the words 'Breast Cancer Care' . I'd been at the house all day sorting things out and bagging up & was about to leave for the last tip trip & so put the ribbon and other unwanted contents from the dresser into a bag & threw them in the boot with everything else to be dumped, shut the front door for the last time & drove to the tip . Once I arrived I emptied the boot completely & drove back o my home .

Our estate car was doing us proud , so far it had made 7 tip trips, & after every journey, this last one was no different, we were careful to hoover the car out completely carpets and all , pulling forward the back seats & making sure every crevice was clean so to get rid of the musty smell of old furniture & a stale loft. Around 8 weeks later, one sunny Sunday morning as I was washing the car I opened up the boot to hoover it out (I think you're getting the idea that we look after our cars in this family . I'm probably the only woman of my age that I know who would panic if I had to take my car to a car wash - what button to press? , how much is it? , do I stay in the car? , who drives it in? , how d'you know when it's finished? how d'you get the car out? Does it come out wet or dry? Does any of this matter? ) and there sat right in the middle of the boot was the pink ribboned broach .

How it had survived the tip trip, the weeks of car cleaning and how I hadn't seen it before now I will never know . I took the ribbon and put it in the drawer next to my bed for safekeeping Now, here I was sat in the waiting room , and little did I know that I was about to be swept up into a sea of care and to begin a journey which would take six years to complete.