Chief Executive's blog: February

Chief executive Rosemary Macdonald reflects on the death of her much-loved mother-in-law Sue but finds some positives elsewhere.

YOU know how sometimes you see something that stops you in your tracks, well that happened to me this morning.

On my way to the office and as I was driving through the Devizes Market Place, I saw a tall, elegant, grey haired woman, probably in her late fifties racing along on a child’s scooter.  She was whizzing along and the pleasure on her face was visible for all to see. That brought a smile to my face which was most welcome.

You see, my family lost our cornerstone last week.  My mother-in-law Sue passed away peacefully, aged 86 after many years struggling with Parkinson’s.  She lived with us for the past two years after it became impossible for her to stay in her own home.

While this would be a cause of grief for some, for her it was a relief and meant that she could live in comfort surrounded by family and friends rather than in uncertainty trying to manage on her own.  She had additional support from carers from Forget Me Not and in her last two weeks from Westbury Court Care Home.

Having not gone through this before, I was amazed by the love, professionalism and care shown by all who made her life more comfortable.  Those who choose the caring professions are truly amazing.

They love their work and take pride in ensuring that those in their care are treated with dignity and compassion.  Though very sad to lose a loved one, my faith in human nature has been bolstered by the fine example of these wonderful people. 

Being wonderful is not just the preserve of the caring professions either.  I met with our partners who are working in The Friary in Salisbury this week.  They are helping the community which is going through challenging times.

We originally thought there wasn’t much going on in The Friary and that we could encourage groups to engage more with the community.  In actual fact, there are lots of people working in their own quiet way to encourage community spirit.

As with all things, the best laid plans never survive first contact with the community, and we have found our work to be more a co-ordinating role and supporting families than finding new groups to work in the area.  Being able to be flexible and try new things is paying dividends in The Friary. 

When everything is a bit grim, globally, nationally and even in our own families, it is good to be reminded that we should remain positive, take strength from those we see being professional, kind and compassionate and remember the world is a good place.

Maybe we should all try something new and give going to work on a scooter a go.

Pictured: Sue Macdonald, who died aged 86 this month