Settling In

My mum seems to’ve settled nicely into the care home she moved into late on Friday. Her transition from the hospital to what’ll be her final residence not going as smoothly as the family would’ve liked, but she finally got admitted at around 7.20pm. As the Better Late Than Never Society are fond of reminding us, it’s….. errrr….. better late than never.

Saturday morning was spent personalising her room by installing a TV and placing photos of her grandchildren on the walls and cabinets. Pictures of her granddaughters which in her healthier times mum’d affectionately kiss every morning at reveille.

For some reason, despite loving grandson Jonny every bit as much as the girls, Maggie omitted kissing his picture as the day dawned….. I’m guessing it’s because my son’s got a face like a clumsy beekeeper….. Actually, as many people state yours truly has a similar appearance to my boy I’ve just inferred I’m no oil painting myself.

Anyhow, from her room window my now bed-bound mum’s view while venturing this distressing ‘end of life’ path is a not too shabby early autumn scene. Emeralds of grass and firs, yellows of moribund deciduous leaves and the deep pink of sedum bushes the Fall landscape at mother’s disposal as she fades.

Upon leaving her early Saturday afternoon, she’d just eaten a few morsels of sausage mash, veg and gravy, which in her condition was encouraging. These scraps washed down by several sips of Oasis fruit drink; mum’s new drink of choice. I’m reliably told, consumption of food and liquids are a sign (potentially) that last Sunday’s prognosis she’d only have two weeks left with us maybe a forecast on the short side.

This paragraph is being written two days on from the first 250, or so, words of the narrative. An amalgam of a Saturday afternoon drink with a buddy, nursing a Sunday morning hangover, Sunday dinner with another friend and an evening watching Netflix curtailing my time at the laptop keyboard.

I’ve just returned from a Monday morning visit to see mater at the care home. Maggie seemed tireder than during last week’s tarries to the West Yorkshire hospital she’d resided for over a week. Seven days where my sister Helen’s tenacity secured our mother a residence more suitable for her needs. H’s doggedness ensuring mum will spend her remaining time in a domain capable of providing fit for purpose palliative care.

The emotional fallout consequential from living through a loved one’s end of life odyssey is absolutely draining. I’ve not engaged on anything physically exerting since learning of mum’s prognosis but I’m utterly exhausted. God only knows how shattered Helen is, who’s venturing on a three hour round trip from Cheshire almost every day.

Under the prevailing circumstances I’ve no real motivation to write these monologues. The only reason this essay lays before your tired eyes (well what do you expect if you drink the amount you did at the weekend!) is to record my notions while this stark familial plot line plays out. A literary strategy I undertook around the time of my dad’s passing, which now provides me with a fascinating insight into my thoughts during his death in October 2017

Endeavouring to lighten the mood I wanted to close with a quip which manifested upon being told by a family member they’d been to see the band Elbow last week. This epiphany moving me to whimsically point out to the gig attendee that as they don’t know their arse from their elbow, it could’ve been confusing for them if there’d been a band called Arse…… No, he didn’t laugh either!!

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