Downshire Diary – (76) The Matchmaker
Olivia Conway was a theatre sister at the Winston Churchill Hospital and she was a rather ordinary looking middle-aged woman just the wrong side of 50.
Olivia was five foot six inches tall and very trim, and stood an inch or so taller in her shoes, and her sisters uniform fitted her to perfection, tapered at the waist where the broad belt sat.
Her once strawberry blonde hair was now peppered with grey.
She was always smiling, but the ageing in her face wasn’t all due to laughter lines, life’s hardships and experiences were etched into her face as well, each line and furrow an event and for those who could read such signs it was like her résumé.
She was well-liked and respected at work and many of her colleagues were close friends outside of work.
But when she chose to she could be a private person and didn’t talk about everything in her private life and when she was outside of work she didn’t discuss every aspect of her work.
She had lived in the small Downshire village of Clarence in the Finchbottom Vale for 20 years and was believed to be a lonely soul as she lived alone and had never married.
When she wasn’t working long hours at the Winston Churchill she was heavily involved with Mary of Bethany church and she was very popular with the other congregants.
Olivia was by profession a care giver and in the village she was considered to be an angel of mercy because she would, in her own time, visit parishioners in need, she was also a matchmaker.
Which was why she was visiting Tim Sharpe to try and rally his spirits.
There was nothing physically wrong with Tim, but he was depressed, he was 35 years old and had just lost his beloved wife Debbie to breast cancer and the light in his world had been extinguished so Olivia had decided to relight his candle and show him there were still things in this world worth living for.
The Cancer may have been responsible for taking his wife but to Olivia’s mind Tim’s problem was curable.
To that end she took with her Staff Nurse Selena Brown when after she had failed on her first three visits.
His unmarried sister Linda, was living with him and looking after him but the cure Olivia had in mind was not something his sister should administer, it was love and not familial love.
Linda let them in and then excused herself as she had some shopping to do.
Olivia and Selena walked up the stairs and found Tim lying in his bed in the unlit room with his eyes closed as if he’d fallen asleep.
But she knew he was awake, he was pretending to be asleep so that she wouldn’t be able to shower him with banalities and clichés and encouragements to make him pull himself together.
“Hello Tim” she said but there was no response as she slipped off her coat.
“I’ve bought someone with me today” she said “This is Selena”
As she had gone to his house straight from work she was still wearing her sister’s uniform, as was Selena.
“Oh dear it seems he not interested” Selena said “Oh well it appears he’s not interested in we angels of mercy”
“Oh well lets go then” Olivia said “We do have people to see who do want us to be there”
“No don’t go” he said as they reached the door
After three weeks she stopped taking Selena with her as she had by that stage already started to visit him on her own so she started to take her next door neighbour Darren with her but not for Tim’s benefit Darren was there for his sister Linda’s benefit.
So by the end of the summer Olivia was feeling very pleased with herself, partly because she had helped Tim back from the dead so to speak by giving him something else to live for in the form of Selena Brown but also because she had, after taking Darren with her on her visits given Linda a reason to leave the house other than doing some shopping.
If only she could find someone for herself.