A tranche of people may be left to stumble out of a nightmare
PHOTOGRAPH: GORDON TERRIS
IN the end every story, every event in history, comes down to one person’s experience. Through their eyes and testament we go beyond statistics and mere reportage, and uncover the raw truth of what is happening or has happened.
It is our ultimate way of connecting with each other – our only moment of understanding, of maybe putting ourselves in someone else’s place.
But it’s more than empathy. In decent souls it’s the stepping outside of ourselves to experience a reality beyond the honeyed words of politicians and charlatans.
After my column last week I was contacted by a woman whose story I will leave for her to tell.
I’m aware that, for some, Brexit and its collateral damage are becoming tiresome subjects.
Indeed for many there is an underlying resentment of those they’ve perceived as living a sun-kissed, wine-sodden life, and so there is a schadenfreude in their comeuppance.
Susan – not her real name – would be the first to admit that, and is at pains to say her predicament is one that comes to most middle-aged women with elderly parents, regardless of one’s location.
Her mother and father owned a little holiday cottage in north-west France, bought in the mid 1980s when they were in their 50s. Ten years later they sold their house in England, retired and moved full-time, living off savings and pensions.
In a small village in the country a car was essential but they had a very busy social life in a vibrant community.
“Ten years ago my father had his first minor stroke. He had amazing healthcare service but since then his health has deteriorated with his vision and mobility getting worse and hovering diabetes.
“Four years ago we started to notice my mother was becoming a little vague but my father never talked about it.