Thoughts From The Care Home

As I begin this chronicle I’ve just returned into my mothers care home room after vacating it while nurses undertook the matriarch’s personal care.

While standing out in the corridor, adjacent to Maggie’s chamber, Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s emotive hymn Pie Jesu played out from a neighbouring resident’s room. The refrain’s celestial nature, incorporating prayers to a merciful Jesus, striking me as a fitting aural backdrop to my prevailing emotions while following a parents end of life journey.

The care homes low lit lighting and otherwise quiet ambience in that corridor area adding to the overall melancholic atmosphere currently enveloping me like a toxic smog.

I’d like to clarify, though, mum’s final existential residence is perfectly nice domain to see out her remaining days. She’s afforded a decent room view and the staff are incredibly supportive to both the stricken matriarch and her shellshocked family. It’s the situation which triggers solemnity, not the environment afforded by Mags’ West Yorkshire domicile.

My sister Helen is due to join me at accompanying our mother in an hour or so. My youngest sibling unable to make her 140 mile round trip to visit Maggie yesterday due to the selfishness of some vehicle drivers who’re currently unnecessarily panic buying fuel. These self-centred b*****ds won’t give a shiny s***e about these observations, however it’s a sad indication of the human condition their unnecessary gas plundering hindered someone from visiting a dying mother.

Maggie, as has predominantly been the case in the past couple of days, is asleep whilst I sit here with the onerous task of typing this piece on mobile phone. Consequently, the prevailing soundscape has changed from Lord Lloyd-Webber’s iconic hymn to mum’s gentle snore and background noise provided by tepid daytime TV entertainment.

Mercifully, during the brief conversation mum and me managed prior to her descending into slumber, mater assured me she was currently pain free. A scenario sadly not afforded to her yesterday when her tumours felt moved to remind her (if a reminder was indeed needed) of their rancid presence.

As I write, Homes Under the Hammer has just finished on BBC1. The next daytime broadcast is Bargain Hunt; a show whose plot line sees contestants adorning one size fits all fleeces while endeavouring to make a profit at auction with a bunch of antique curios.

Donned in fleecy red or blue jackets, participants feed off expert advice as they bid to unearth a hidden trinket that’s gonna pocket them some serious wonga…. Although, if truth be told, it’s rare the selected lots earn them more than a combined total of £3.75.

This paltry sum typical of BBC game show prizes. Perhaps a result of the corporation not wanting to disenfranchise licence payers from them witnessing scenes of their hard earned money ending up in the pockets of frugally outfitted daytime contestants……. Ok, I admit it, the real reason Auntie Beeb’s bequests are crap is (of course) very simply because they haven’t got equitable amounts of money to compete with prizes dished out by commercial channels.

Mum normally loves watching Bargain Hunt, but she dozed back off shortly after I’d placed specs on her ever thinning face at the show’s commencement. If the suggestion wasn’t so crass, I’d probably posit I’ve also experienced that feeling as the programmes opening titles rolled.

Wistfully, though, Maggie’s snooze isn’t caused by indifference to the vapid antique pageant playing out on the TV, as it is in my case. Sadly a much starker, cruel scenario drives her severe fatigue.

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