Monday, 6 September 2010

Fifty Years.

This weekend one of the team went to a Golden Wedding celebration. Not an onerous task but, given that most people there would be old and potentially ill, one that as a sortie could be potentially hazardous to any off duty Northernshire GP in attendance.

It turned out to be a very happy event. We met many people from our past and also discussed those who would care for us in the future. For some of those present had taught us and we had returned the favour by teaching their children who are now local doctors.

During the course of many conversations with people we had not met before there turned out to be some very interesting links.

Someone who had lived and drank in a pub in a village down South recognized one of the host’s children’s wife as a former barmaid. Another guest spoke to a friend of the family about matters nautical and this aged friend thought that her brother’s National Service may have been on a ship they too had sailed.

More spooky was the fact that two people present had been born at the same hospital on the other sided of the world. Given the wide geographical distribution of where the guests had come, all from the UK, from you realize how very small the world is at events like this an illustration of the six degrees of separation theory.

We listened to, and overhead various comments about our hosts and the comments all said the same things. How nice the couple who were celebrating their Golden Wedding were and how helpful they had been to those gathered over the years. They were not medical by the way but involved in education as were most of their friends who had gathered there.

It was an interesting afternoon for not only had we endured this afternoon’s social event but, some 25 years earlier, we had also been invited to the couples parents’ fiftieth anniversary. So in one Northern GPs lifetime we had been to two celebrations of marriages totaling over a century.

Are we missing something here? For one of the more senior members of the gathering was appalled at this gathering to hear of 13 year old girls who were pregnant giving birth? They attacked the midwife to whom they spoke about this state of affairs as if it was their fault and the area where they lived.

Now midwifes are rottweilers in skirts and so a senior retired teacher more than met their match but the point of family stability was not lost on others there hearing this conversation and subsequent "debate".

Like has a habit of begating like and we as human beings tend to learn from those around us. This is a huge generalization but stability in families tends to begat stability.

You do not realize this until you have been in general practice for a couple of generations. When you start to see the third generation following the two previous ones and producing grandchildren either, in very stable family set ups, or, in complete chaos where it is a game of guess which child has which father you start to wonder which is the actually the better set up?

Perhaps we are getting old here at ND Central but we doubt we will attend another fiftieth wedding anniversary although it is just possible that we might live long enough to see the first of the couple’s children to marry 50th celebration. We doubt it and so does the company who provided our life insurance. Perhaps we shall just have to settle for the couple’s grandchildrens’ wedding.

Question is will they be there for that event? Aren’t families fascinating at such times?

Praise be to the Party for looking after the family in our new Big Society.

Compared with the disorder that we as GPs, nurses, midwifes and health visitors sometimes have to “support”, this family was to the State a godsend for this family had managed mostly without it. Still back to work on Monday.

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