Fish and Ale

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The best food and drink cheers the heart

Fish and Ale

When Peter reached the last few weeks of his life, his family made daily short visits, and they, and the wider family of the care home, wanted to provide for his every wish, and make his final days as enjoyable as possible.

Peter was particularly fond of smoked salmon which had been an occasional extravagance at home. A supply was bought, along with a four-pack of his favourite beer (although he could only manage a few sips at a time).

A few nights later, the late shift staff asked if he would like anything. "A bottle of beer would be nice" said Peter. But alas! the beer had run out! As all the shops were closed, the resourceful carer telephoned her husband who immediately drove round with a supply from his own hoard.

Peter was in no doubt that he was loved. It wasn't just the beer and the salmon. The warm affection in the eyes of his "attendants" spoke volumes. He got more satisfaction from seeing the satisfaction they obviously experienced from pleasing him than he got from the food and drink. And it wasn't a one-way gift.Peter also was giving. Everyone received through him the gift of a deepening of their own capacity to be kind and thoughtful, and the added joy of becoming closer to each other in their shared caring.

It always happens that way, when love stretches out to embrace those who need it most.

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