My lovely mum was all set to retire at the ripe age of 60 next month from her part time work but unfortunately it has been brought forward by circumstances: she works in a bakery and on her way to help a colleague she slipped on a bit of foodstuff and had a nasty tumble, injuring her arm quite badly. She’s pulled muscles rather nastily but after a couple of days of increasing pain she finally went to the casualty department at hospital and it turns out she chipped the bone and caused more damage than she thought. So now she is in a lot of pain and bound up with a special sling, which is making life very difficult – she isn’t sleeping right because of the pain (and being worried about rolling over onto the bad arm in her sleep – major owww!) and simple things like fixing her hair are very hard to do with one hand, so she isn’t going out much because she won’t go out unless she looks presentable (unlike her son who is a scruff, looks, as she puts it “like something that fell of a flitting” – or ‘Bohemian’ as I would have it). And since she will be bound up like this for several weeks it will go past her 60th birthday in December when she was to retire, so she missed that.
And she isn’t trying to claim for compensation. If it was a small family business I could understand her not wanting to claim in case it ruined their business, but it is a large group of national bakeries; it wasn’t a malicious thing, but she slipped and injured herself on something that shouldn’t have been there and is in a lot of pain because of it, so that is their responsibility (yes, Greggs, the “family baker”, I am talking about you and the crap way you treated a long-serving employee). I’m damned annoyed she won’t claim and I’m going to keep pressing her on it. Does seem very funny to think on my mum as retired though (although 60 isn’t old these days, is it? Not unless you are 16) – she still has a creamy complexion and her hair is still red, the benefits of a Celtic heritage. I’ve never been someone obsessed with money (which is just as well as I’ve never really earned much!); mostly I’m happy to make enough to be comfortable and doing a job you like is worth a lot more.
One of the few reasons I would like to be wealthier is to be able to say to both my folks, here’s all your outstanding stuff paid off, now bugger off on a big, long holiday and enjoy yourselves while you’re still fit and young enough. Alas I can just about pay my own mortgage, so that isn’t going to happen, but it would be nice, wouldn’t it? I’d love to be able to take care of them the way they have taken care of me over the years. One thing I’ve never taken for granted is my parents; so many kids in our world grow up with parents who don’t care or no parents at all. Not me, I got the luckiest draw you can get, parents who love you and will do anything for you and a big family of uncles, aunts and cousins into the bargain. That’s worth more than money and I know how damned lucky it makes me; anything and everything I ever do in life is built on that foundation. I wish every kid had that, then the world would be a much better place.