Sunday, 25 April 2010

Not a Happy Day

Today I am feeling very sad. A telephone message on my answer-phone to say that a person I've known since 1951 is in hospital in Croydon. Patricia Teare, as she was then, has broken her hip and is in pain and distress - and now she is all alone.

Her husband died of cancer in December,just before their 41st wedding anniversary.

Patricia was my first and only ballroom dancing tutor. She was around 20 years old when I first met her at Jimmy Quinn's Dance School in Purley, Surrey. She was a superb dancer and marvellous teacher of the art. I've always held her in my heart and memory and her distressed phone call to me earlier today was devastating.

Even at her advanced age she continued to teach ballroom, and to have an accident such as a broken hip will almost certainly be the end of ballroom dancing for her.

I've just arranged for some flowers by post to be delivered to her and I've called on some others who know me to pay Patricia a visit, in my behalf. I cannot get down to Croydon now as my wife, Pat, needs me at home to look after her now.

Below is a photo of Patricia with her senior dance partner, Jimmy Quinn, whom I also knew well. Poor Jimmy died a year or so after the photo was taken; brain tumour.

I'm going to write to Patricia every day whilst she is in hospital. It's the least I can do. Bye for now...


The Bug said...

Oh Philip - how hard! I'm glad you'll be able to cheer her up with some flowers and letters. Don't suppose she'd want a card from across the pond? I'll be glad to send one...

BTW - she was gorgeous in that picture!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

How sad...
I'm sure that sending her some flowers and writing will cheer her up, just to know you are thinking of her, and sending get well wishes her way.
I've had similar sad news today ;(

Angelina said...

It is never easy to hear of a friend in distress especially if you're so far away.

I'm certain that she will appreciate your thoughtfulness in spite of the fact that you are unable to be there in person.

I wish her a speedy recovery.

Barry said...

How very sad. She is certainly a beautiful woman and it seems she has been through a lot in the last year or so.

I am very sorry to hear this Philip.

PhilipH said...

Thank you Bug, Tennessee, Angelina and Barry for your kind responses.

I have telephoned the daughter of my first love, Stella, and told her of this accident. Patricia taught both Stella and me to dance and Stella (now passed away I'm sad to say) had a son and a daughter. They are both going to pay a visit to the hospital which is a great relief to me and I know Patricia will be much cheered by having a visitor or two.

Managed to speak to Patricia on one of those expensive bedside phone systems and she was very glad that I got through OK. She is (she says) going to have a much better sleep tonight now that she has been in touch. That makes me feel a whole lot happier.

Bug, your offer to send a card is great! She's now named Mrs. Pat Stinton, Queens Ward 3, Mayday Hospital, CROYDON, CR7 7YE, UK. I think that is a lovely idea. She, by the way, knows me as George, which is my second christian name. My dad was a Philip so I was always called by the second name! It has stuck ever since.

Thanks again ... take care.

Monkey Man said...

So sorry about your friend. The flowers and letters will surely mean much. I hope a speedy recovery for her.

Brenda said...

I am sorry to hear this Philip. I will join Dana and send her a card. Hope your wife is getting along better, and yourself also.

willow said...

Patricia was absolutely gorgeous! I'm sorry to hear you won't be able to visit her, but I'm sure she will love to receive your daily letters, Philip.

Pauline said...

Poor lady, to have this happen after her other misfortune. I'm sure talking to you helped. And we all love to receive flowers and letters when we are down.
She sure was a beautiful, elegant lady and, obviously so much more besides.

Argent said...

How frustrating not to be able to go to your friend, but how thoughtful to send flowers and those all-important letters. We could all use considerate friends like you.

PhilipH said...

MM, Thank you. Hope all goes well with you too. Your life has had its ups and downs healthwise but now you're doing nicely now.

Brenda, That's so kind of you. I'm sure Patricia will be a tad puzzled at getting a card from the US of A - and I'll have much joy in letting her in on the secret!

Willow, great to see you and read you thoughtful comment.

Pauline, Really pleased to receive your comment. I have already written two letters to Patricia and just received confirmation that some fresh flowers have been despatched today from Jersey, in the Channel Isles that is!

Argent: hello Silver (hope you don't mind my giving you a nom-de-plume). One of my pleasant tasks over the past 20 years or so is catching up and tracing people who meant so much to me from way back when. I have found some precious friends from my younger days and it has been keeping me young too!

Jo said...

She's lovely. Will you please extend my best wishes to her?

I see you have posted the address of her hospital, and I think I will send her a card too.

PhilipH said...

Thank you Jo. Very kind and generous of you.

My sister-in-law managed to visit Patricia in hospital this afternoon. It must have been a big surprise for Patricia as she had never met nor heard of Marjorie, my sister-in-law before. They got on really well as Patricia is a strong Christian and Marjorie is even stronger, having spent 30 years in Kobe, Japan, as a missionary for the Japanese Evangelical Band. Both these women are totally different in their faith and belief compared to me but I'm so grateful that the visit was such a happy one. Good news all round.

thistledew said...

I do hope that your friend continues to make progress. I am sure that the response that you have so generously orchestrated will help her recovery. Please add me and Meghan to the list of well wishers.
As usual wishing you and your wife well,
Best regards,

PhilipH said...

Thanks very much David. I appreciate your good wishes, which I reciprocate for you and Meghan, and of course, your honey-makers!