Hello person at the side

The person at the side of the person in front.

the whisperer in the presidents ear,

the strong person behind every successful person.

The quiet person at the side

The one at home, carrying on as best as possible – Making meals, ironing shirts, paying bills, buying ‘Thank-you’ cards, sending birthday cards and bunches of flowers to mothers and Grans and friends.

The ones standing quietly at the side – at home, in the office, on the telly, at the meeting. Caring, thinking fast, worrying, silently mouthing responses, telepathically sending calm and wisdom and patience, winking subtly. smiling kindly.

The quiet ones standing at the side as the exit door – ushering , consoling. supporting, affirming, directing, managing, organising – supplying drinks, adjusting clothing. Patting on the back – clearing the way.

The quite ones standing at the side in the hall way by the front door that opens later than hoped – welcoming home, putting kettles on, pouring wine, sharing edited family news. managing excited welcoming kids clamouring for attention and reassurance that all is well, filtering news, relinquishing the remote control.

The strong ones standing at the side whilst tears are shed, anger shown, sleep lost, meals missed – food pushed around plates, faces flush, hair scraped knuckles clenched. Feeling the pain, hurting, proud, defensive, loyal.

The loving one standing at the side at home, alone, sending ‘love you’ texts.

The strong ones standing at home today ‘close beside’ our nurses, doctors, teachers, shop workers, bankers, carers, delivery drivers, yes politicians and of course our civil and all public servants too.

The strong yet crumbling ones standing at the side – perhaps the distant isolated side of our bereaved ones. Those with friends and family in hospitals, in care homes. In distant homes – tucked in behind open windows and fleeting door exchanges . Those that we cannot hold and comfort – those that we cannot stand closely beside.

We thank and applaud you all – but today – and every day especially we applaud the ones who stand beside you and look after you – as you look after us.