Befriending Admires Courage

22.01.2024

“I can picture him in younger days moving heavy furniture with ease and commanding the mid-field in a soccer game. I admired him greatly”.

Peter Stone, volunteer, speaks about his Link Friend who passed away in November 2023. His name has been changed to protect his identity.

My relationship with Philip was basically a telephone one, and what with his Scottish accent (particularly when talking about Japanese Celtic players) and my occasional hearing difficulties, one might have thought it had little going for it. However, for me, it developed into something very special.

I began to look forward to our Saturday 5pm slot when we would mull over the football results, usually a win for Celtic and a defeat for Southampton. But over a couple of years we talked about much else besides: his growing up, his time as a removal man (a job he loved), his relationship with his family, his beloved loyal partner, the loss of power in his legs and the gradual drift into the dependence on others that inevitably accompanies multiple sclerosis.

I gradually became aware of the limitations of his condition and how brave he was in dealing with it in a matter-of-fact sort of way. It was obvious what a good rapport he had with his friends and carers – and ultimately the little dog that came to be part of his life.

I am so glad that I did finally get to meet him although sadly it had to be in hospital. I shall remember him sitting up in bed and talking rapidly about the weaknesses of the current Celtic team, the amazing support of some of the nursing staff and the ineptness of others, and his desire for a decent meal – and even more for a cigarette and maybe a glass of whisky.

I can picture him in younger days moving heavy furniture with ease and commanding the mid-field in a soccer game. I admired him greatly. Some people don’t get the best deals in life and moan on about it. The courageous, caring ones just get on with it. Philip always asked how my wife was. What a man. I miss him very much.

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