Vera (2)

It is a fitting tribute to Vera, my dear mother-in-law who passed away peacefully on Saturday, that the BBC should broadcast a drama starting today called Land Girls.

Vera hailed from Tottenham and was one of a group commissioned to Ely as a stunning 18-year-old to do her bit for the war as a land army girl. Just as romance will feature prominently in the drama, it was in this Fenland cathedral city that she met and fell in love with her husband of 59 years, Roy, at a local dance.

My followers on twitter will have noted my updates about Vera’s deteriorating condition in recent weeks, her admissions to Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the Arthur Rank Hospice, before finally returning home. I spent every day in the last two to three weeks helping to nurse Vera and support Roy, and some nights too when a Marie Curie nurse was not available. We cannot praise them enough, as well as the superb district nurses. Inexplicably, the same cannot be said for Macmillan Cancer Support, who knew of Vera’s condition, but offered no help.

At the end, while the Vera we knew and loved was physically unrecognisable as she lost so much weight, then her ability to move, or speak or even drink fluids, she always retained her beaming smile. It was the one thing we asked her to do for us every day, and she never disappointed us, until on the final day when she no longer had the strength….