Silence Isn’t Always Golden

Aside from a sporadic sob emanating from daughter Rachel in the front passenger seat of my car, yesterday’s 20 minute journey from my mother’s care home to Rach’s east Leeds residence was undertaken in near silence.

Two hours in the company of our moribund family matriarch, who’s now barely able to communicate verbally, appearing to also rob both my adult offspring and me of the power of speech. Our aphasia borne from witnessing mum/grandma’s condition had declined noticeably in the previous twenty four hours. Maggie’s now inability to communicate more than a few words heartbreaking, not to mention causing her a great deal of distress and frustration on the rare occasions she opened her eyes.

This marked diminishment of our bed-bound forebear’s medical plight hitting home to my youngest child that due to work commitments she mightn’t ever get the opportunity to speak to her dear grandmother again. A paternal grandparent who’s invested a great deal of affection and time into Rach’s twenty eight years on this planet and who she loves dearly.

Among those memories which’ve indelibly painted on Rachel’s life canvas, numerous occasions when grandma had her in stitches with an off colour remark or a playful putdown of yours truly. One of the few sentences Mags managed yesterday similarly amusing my daughter; this borne from an admonishment of yours truly to stop repeatedly asking ma mere whether she was in any pain. Evidently she wasn’t, apart from that bequeathed by her pain in the arse eldest offspring.

Anyhow, yesterday’s car journey home was made even longer by me driving economically (a steady 60mph) in an attempt to conserve fuel. The selfishness of individuals panic buying fuel they don’t need making diesel as rare as witnessing a hen segwaying along Leeds Headrow – Meaning, if I’m unable to refill in the next two days, I’ll be unable to visit my dying mother this weekend….. Well, unless I can borrow a hen’s Segway.

A galling thought knowing there’ll be numerous people sitting with a vehicle parked on their drive loaded with gas which isn’t required. An automobile having to sit on the drive because these individuals’ garages are so full of the f***ing toilet roll they panic bought last spring when COVID came calling.

As an equally flawed character, I’m ordinarily disinclined to judge people. However, on this occasion I feel moved to opine that if you are one of those individuals who thought COVID would introduce a need to secure 400 toilet rolls your not only selfish, but you also wrongly appeared to think coronavirus symptoms included rabid episodes of diarrhoea.

Incidentally, I bear similar disparaging sentiments about people who’ve unnecessarily purchased fuel….. Well, the accusation of selfish anyway; not the diarrhoea misunderstanding…… Unless, of course, that consequential from drinking diesel or petrol, which you clearly won’t do! ….. After all, your selfish not deranged!

If you didn’t unnecessarily panic buy toilet roll last year and/or fuel recently, I love you dearly. Although you in Birkenhead probably need to address your personal hygiene issues and perhaps buy at least one roll of toilet paper!

I’m visiting mum after midday today as nursing staff meet with doctors this morning. Not that it’ll ease the strain of this stark episode, but hopefully we (the family) can get an update on where Maggie currently sits on the end of life pathway. Witnessing her decline yesterday, it appears the original prognosis given eleven days ago that mum had about a fortnight left with us won’t be too far off mark.

Footnote – Mercifully, I managed to procure £25’s worth of diesel in the way to my mums care home.

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