With Mother

I’ve had a smile and a kiss, and she said ‘yes’ quite clearly when I asked if she wanted me to go on singing, but the biggest noise from her little body this afternoon has been a phlegmy extended rattle of a cough. She’s dozing now, her head tilting to her right. Outside, the sun is shining and birds are singing; the tree by the window is a mass of buds; light dapples the new green leaves. A wood pigeon is cooing in the distance. Earlier it hailed, each hailstone like a pea, covering the ground around the marina.
I have come east after a message from the care home saying Mother was very frail and had deteriorated a great deal in twenty four hours.
She has had a few teaspoonfuls of chocolate Complan and then put her right hand to her face as though exhausted. Thank-you, she said to the carer. Her left hand grasped a paper handkerchief. She is warm and cosy, tucked up in her pyjamas, with her pink bed jacket over the top, a teddy bear and a toy sheep for company. The carers are washing her and turning her. She is uncomplaining and passive, though her face registers a slight frown of discomfort. Her eyes are almost closed.

Maybe these are Mother’s last days and hours. We can’t know, but coming back from where she is now might demand more strength that she has.



31 thoughts on “With Mother

    • She is properly asleep now. If the bed were bigger I might get in beside her. I think I shall go back to das Boot in a while, cuddle MasterB and have an early night after the phone call round.

    • Thanks Araminta. She was taking chocolate Complan, one tspful at a time from a carer when I left. She wasn’t communicating with either of us, but she was evidently enjoying her ‘meal’.

    • Meaning she didn’t turn down my singing offer flat I suppose! Yes, she says please and thank-you, calls carers darling and tells them she loves them. Now that she is so frail and not expected to live much longer they are making every effort with her. It is a great comfort.

    • Thank you Pat. My aunt and a close friend will be with her in the morning, then my nephew, his wife and I shall be there in the afternoon. I may leave them and go to my aunt, and come back later when no one else is around.

  1. My thoughts and heart are with you and your mother, Isobel, wishing both of all the best, whatever that might be. Peace to you both. A big hug

  2. I feel as your other friends do…my heart aches for you but I also know that you have no illusions about this point in time. Perhaps it’s another “dip” in the road she’s traveling but you just never know and I’m glad you and other family are with her. Be at peace Isobel…..I have a feeling that she is.

    Hugs, Pam

    • Thanks Pam. Yes, we are looking into her face trying to read whether she is dying or not. As Nephew’s wife said today, she is still there, but by this evening, she had changed again.

  3. dearest Isobel…what a blessing you are to this world with your caring…my thoughts are with you and you mother right now…take care and remember to be tender with yourself as well

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