Christmas Visit

It has been a mild day, but all the same, fifteen minutes sitting on a metal bench at Cambridge ststion was more than enough. I was very happy to board the next train.
I have spent the day East seeing Mother.
She was asleep when I arrived, and when she woke was confused and disorientated. A clergyman came to see her. He seemed to feel I was more in need of blessing than Mother. Maybe he was right.
I took the opportunity to discuss funerals with him. My recent experience when my friend Alison died has made me aware how short a time one has at the crematorium. It turns out there is a chapel we can use very close to the home. This was good news.
This sounds crazy, but I really hope this will be Mother’s last Christmas. I don’t want her to die, yet I do. To see her further diminished would be heart breaking.
I had the end of life meeting with a nurse. The things we do and do not want. I signed. She witnessed. This feels better.
Mother ate a good lunch and nearly licked the pudding dish. She drank quantities of cranberry juice.
When I had finished the talking and signing we want back to poetry.
Brilliant. There is no other word for it. Yeats, Larkin, De La Mare, Masefield, Wordsworth, Roaetti. The old favouritea. And Jenny wotsit’s Warning.
Mother held my hand and tapped the rhythms. We sighed. We laughed. We kissed and rubbed noses.
It was lovely. Precious. Special.
I came home on the train with my heart lighter than it has been for weeks.
Aunt is visiting on Christmas Eve with Morher’s close and loyal friend. Nephew is visiting with a Labrador on Christmas Day.

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Viva Voce

At the start of next week there’s a meeting at the hospital which may decide Mother’s fate.

I understand the hospital wants firm decisions to be taken about where Mother will go when she is medically fit to leave its portals.

The family, on the other hand, wants an information gathering session, and for any decisions to be deferred until we know if Mother’s leg mends properly, and for the sore on her heel, a legacy of poor care in the same hospital, to be history. Only then, we feel can we make an informed decision.

There should be a good turn out. Doctors, trauma nurses, OTs, physios,a social worker, a District Nurse, someone from the scheme where Mother lives, three members of her family, a family friend if he can make it, and if we’re lucky, a representative from the Alzheimer’s Society. Continue reading