I tend not to sleep much, my insomnia has pained me for many years.
That being said I enjoyed this morning an extended, comfortable and relaxed, stay in a horizontal position within the splendour of my king size bed.
This is the day in the week I most covet, this truly is the day I long for all week. Today, and I make no apologies for saying this and in so doing, for sounding like a love sick fool.
You see this is the day I pick up the ‘better half’, this is the beginning of a few precious days we spend together…this is the day I meet my most trusted and loyal companion.
My girlfriend has stood by me through thick and through thin, she truth be known has dealt with way more ‘suffering’ than of that I could ever have assured her of myself. She’s been the foundation on which both my health and happiness rebuilt themselves…she is one remarkable woman.
Why do I tell you guys all this?…be patient I’m getting there.
You see I believe that loyalty is a very underrated quality, this morning I woke to find it clearly to be also a greatly misunderstood virtue also.
As I lay, in said king size bed, I browsed twitter via my phone and on the day of each week that I’m most thankful for loyalty, there it was, the evidence of how misunderstood, how undervalued and how utterly thankless loyalty can be by others.
The club ‘formerly’ Rangers F.C., as we know all to well died some weeks past.
Truth is they may only, very recently, have passed away but their critical health, their slow and painful, deeply emotional fight for life, has been laid bare for some considerable time now.
Many players, coaches, officials, receptionists, cleaners, cooks and scouts, amongst many others of course, have been credited, quite rightly, for their loyalty to the deceased club.
These persons refused to abandon a sinking ship, they refused to buckle during testing times, many refused the conventional wisdom that would have directed them to explore other opportunities of gainful employment.
They remained proudly by the bed of this terminally ill patient and nursed it gently and compassionately, as its draining fight to cling to life took more than an upsetting turn for the worse each day, each week, each month.
These ’employees’ of the club were, make no mistake, being paid for their time. I would however liken that to the spouse of a dying person, they remained loyal, devoted and loving at a time when the patient barely recognised their appearance, never mind their sacrifice…does this mean that spouse was wrong to draw upon funds they had together in order to make ends meat.
The fans, oh yes the fans, of this critically ill club, they spoke publicly of their devotion, they lapped up sympathy for their suffering from every available source they could.
They campaigned loudly for cures to be found, they raised some charitable donations from like minded individuals. The fans were amongst the most vociferous of well wishers but as time passed they were notable in their absence from the bedside each non visiting hour.
They were occassional, infrequent and ineffectual providers of care but who regularly professed concern at the inability of the devoted nursing staff and relatives to adequately provide for the needs of the patient.
All the while they lapped up the public sympathy afforded to them, they spoke resolutely of their loyalty, they promised and campaigned for others not to ‘go walking way’.
They said, in public at least, all the right stuff. In public view and earshot, they praised the staff and family members for their efforts but like distant cousins of the soon to be deceased club, they spoke more scathingly in tighter family units, they were not always as loyal and as caring as their public proclamations would normally suggest.
When the time for less words and more action, the time for assistance to tend to, not just to visit, their unfortunate family member, came…they were found badly wanting. They were guilty of hypocrisy, of that there was little doubt.
The wider public viewed this and made their own judgement on the gravity of the misdemeanour…choosing by and largely not to be too critical, remaining compassionate to the families troubled existence.
In doing so however, the friends of the patient and the many loosely held acquintances of his chose not to challenge the lack of moral courage, they would however keep up appearances of sympathy and pledge yet more small change in the buckets of the by now distant family members, whos charitable fund raising was no longer intended to fund the search for a cure.
Those friends and loosely held acquintancies, deposited small change willingly and freely to absolve them of any guilt. They did so whilst knowing however, that the funds raisef were no longer being spent on the patient itself but on the many spurious legal challenges of the immoral distant family members who sought recompensement from the health services, the doctors and the governing bodies of all their staff associations.
These, family members, used funds raised to fuel their desire to seek blame, to apportion responsibility and culpability with others, choosing to ignore the fact that the patient had been a willing smoker, knowledgable of its negative ramifications to his health, knowing the whole time that his failure to live a cleaner lifestyle may very well increase his chances of suffering from a cancerous condition one day.
The element of culpability attributable to the patient himself was, however, completely overlooked.
They chose instead to be critical of health warnings, of tobacco dealers and of smoking cultures…the fact the patients illness was self induced, conviently was being overlooked.
The anti smoking campaigners were to being criticised, there many warnings were labelled insensitive and gloating by their purpose, even these campaigns were being blamed for fuelling a lack of public sympathy and for encouraging self-righteous attitudes elsewhere.
The death, inevitably, occured.
In its aftermath, family in-fighting began.
The distribution of the deceased possessions, the funeral arrangements, the eulogy and the location of the spreading of his ashes, were all now potential flash points, the bickering and blaming of the grief stricken spouse, close family and nursing staff was no longer a secret.
The ‘family’ were tearing themselves apart.
In my own unique way this analogy and its subsequent reference to a family ‘tearing itself apart’, comes to be rather apt and accurate in reference the callous disregard shown to ‘former’ players.
Many of whom now, after many, many tough, traumatic and emotional days, weeks and months ‘tending to’ the clubs every whim, its every need, are seeking to put themselves first.
They seek to establish for themselves a future, they are being criticised for ‘walking away’.
Their devoted manner, their loyal, compassionate and selfless acts now counting for precious little to the fans who acted out the role of, at best, the distant cousins, at worst the old and notably absent friends and acquintanciess, who at their clubs time of terminal decline…chose to look the other way, chose to drip small change into the ill advised, ill intended charitable buckets and who tried to forget their complicity in this episode.
They too were ‘big drinking, big smoking, unhealthy and unconcerned’ members of the deceaseds favoured social clubs and lodges.
They got lucky and avoided such personal ‘ill-health’…those ‘fans’ are both former directors and media champions of the club and indeed the (ab)normal fans, the ‘follow follow’, the ‘no surrender’ brigade too.
All of whom shared in the many occassions whereby they fuelled the excessive and unhealthy lifestyle of their club.
All of whom loudly and publicly celebrated the highs, slapped the backs of the players and of the clubs owner and whom fully indulged in a life of wild excess….but whom were utterly absent, silent and crest fallen, dumbstruck and undignified in their actions, as their clubs slide from terminal ill health to passing away concluded itself recently.
I will enjoy my girlfriends company tonight, I’ll be ever respectful of her
loyal, loving and caring manner and I will be eternally indebted to her for it.
The fans of the club ‘formerly’ Rangers F.C., would do well to remember and to cherish the loyalty of Rhys McCabe, of Sone Aluko, of perhaps even Ally McCoist and so many others who will now set out to establish themselves a brighter future…that doesn’t imply a lack of respect for their past.
Loyalty cuts both ways, the current reaction towards two young men whom showed great character and no shortage of effort should be rewarded and appreciated, not disrespected, forgotten and thrown back in their faces by a support who ‘looked away’.
Their hypocrisy today makes me sad.
I tend not to sleep much, my insomnia has pained me for many years.